Friday, April 27, 2007

Gory versus GORY

A note about gory-- many middle school students love it. Obviously, I'm not all that comfortable with books where multiple people get their heads hacked off. Not in the curriculum. Still, I can't tell my horror fans that they must read Mandy. They will not read. So, I've been working on a collection of horror that is at least well-done, intriguing, or clever.

Paul Zindel's book fit this category. Wildly popular with my lowever level readers, although I must admit that I haven't finished Reef of Death yet! It's fun to say all of the titles: Rats, Raptor, Reef of Death, Lock, Doomstone, Night of the Bat.

Darren Shan's Demonata series almost lost me. Debated for a long time. Cirque du Freak is okay, and oddly addictive, but any book that starts out with demons murdering a boy's family in a rather graphic and gory way gives me pause. Read to the end, and it was so clever that I gave in. Playing chess against the demon was very effective. Well-written. Just be warned.

Carter's Hand of the Devil was also good-- killer mosquito whose venom dissolves its victims, and its pyschopathic, serial-killer handler. Had some good twists. Bought two copies.

Enthoven's The Black Tattoo kept me reading to find out what was going on.

However, Pike's The Hollow Skull did not fit into this category. After reading it, I felt like I should go apologize to all the students who have checked it out. Graphic, crude, unpleasant to read-- I may have to pull it. I do have one very reluctant reader who has read all the good stuff and is refusing everything else I suggest. May try it on him. Basically, evil scientists/aliens implant silicon in people's brains and it turns them into raging murderers. I can't quote lines. Just ick. Just when I was warming a bit to this author, too.

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