Word Spelunking

Scary School - Derek The Ghost, Scott M. Fischer READ THE ORIGINAL AND COMPLETE REVIEW (AND MANY MORE) AT WORD SPELUNKINGI dove right into Scary School as soon as it arrived in the mail! I mean, I couldn’t resist that fun cover and that wicked cool trailer and song! As you can tell, I LOVED this book! It’s pretty much made of awesome. Written and narrated by Derek the Ghost, an 11 year old former attendee at Scary School who died a year ago in a science lab accident…but don’t worry, he’s kinda cool with it. Derek the Ghost recounts the many adventures and happenings of Scary School. And just what is Scary School? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like, duh! Scary School is an elementary school, open to both humans and scary children, run by scary teachers. With a principle named Principle Headcrusher, teachers like Ms. Fang and Dr. Dragonbreath, and a T.Rex as a librarian and detention monitor, well you never know what’s going to happen. In this first installment of a new series, we follow Charles “New Kid” Nukid, as he makes his way through his first terrifying year at Scary School. A year that is made even more exciting with the Ghoul Games.Author Derek Kent, aka Derek the Ghost, offers up a delightfully funny, entertaining and positively spellbinding new series. This is the type of book that I would have gone crazy for as a kid! It’s whimsical, laugh out loud funny, smart, and full of fun surprises. The narration is a perfect blend of childlike silliness and deadpan sarcasm. This book is reminiscent of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids series, both of which I adore.There is a wonderful cast of characters, human and scary alike. In this book, Derek introduces us to many of Scary School’s more interesting students, such as Peter the Wolf, Jason the hockey mask, chainsaw wielding hockey player, Petunia the purple skinned flower girl, Ramon the zombie, Penny Possum who’s boss at playing dead, and Frank which is pronounced “Rachel”. Each character is engaging, likable, and perfectly childlike. I truly loved every single character, but I think my favorite so far is Penny Possum.This is a book that kids will just get. The silly, sometimes gross, out there humor is pitch perfect for the MG and younger crowd. But, this book will surely entertain adults as well. It definitely captivated this grown up! This would make an excellent read aloud book for kids and adults to share.But, just because this book is a hoot a page doesn’t mean it has nothing meaningful and important to offer. There are many valuable lessons to be learned in this book as well, such as: Never judge a person by their appearance· Friends can come in all sorts of packages· Always be yourself· Don’t anger a vampire· Always follow a dragon’s rules· Lunchtime is NOT a good time to visit a T.Rex· When in doubt, use Monster Math: the bigger the number, the better.For example: 2+2=…if you said 4 then you’d be wrong. If you said 18,478 or 2,674,198 or Infinity, then you’d probably be right…who knew, according to Monster Math, that I was a mathematical genius all along?!I have to mention the illustrations done by Scott M. Fischer because they are awesome! His simple, yet wonderfully vivid pictures really capture the scenes and bring the book to life.MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Ten year old me is sad that this book wasn’t around when she was in elementary school, but grown up me is so glad to have found this book in the present. Scary School is a superb first installment in what is sure to be a beloved and adored new series. Readers of all ages will be delighted and captivated by its humor, magic, and awesomeness. You absolutely MUST read this book!

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