Definitely buying this one. Great cover ( shimmery copper skull with corpses for eyeballs!) and a great tag line:" Is a contest worth dying for.
This is basically short stories, but strung together in a Monster House sort of way. Five students are invited by author Ian Tremblin to stay the night in a haunted house and tell stories to freak each other out. Some fun ghost stories in a variety of formats. The cover alone would encourage check out, so it's nice that it also has some literary merit. Rare that there is horror that I like. Note: blood and gore somewhat limited.
Garfinkle's Stuck in the 70's also had a fun cover, and having been a teen in the 70's I had to read it, but all middle school librarians need to know is this: Brief but very graphic sex. Okay. So, no. Also, very vague and disturbing ending and message. Were the 70's supposedly better than now? And if so, why? Just because mothers made homemade meals and people wore more clothing?
Rabin's Black Powder has a promising premise-- boy whose best friend is killed in a gang related shooting travels back in time to stop Roger Bacon from discovering gun powder. Might have worked if there weren't so many subplots. The students who might be drawn into the historical/sci fi aspect because of the gang violence would probably give up on this one. Think I'll pass.
Hautman's All-in had its moments, but I need to get up to speed on the previous adventures of Denn Doyle in No Limit. Intriguing story about gambling and Las Vegas, but I have concerns about his relationship with Cattie. Hautman's Sweet Blood and Mr. Was are very good, but I haven't been as thrilled about Rash, Invisible or Godless. He writes mainly for high schoolers, I think.