Thursday, August 02, 2018

Check Out the Library Weenies

37534852Lubar, David. Check Out the Library Weenies
September 4th 2018 by Starscape Books
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

In this 9th installment of creepy short stories, we have an astonishing 30 short tales on a wide variety of topics. Several involve vampires in tremendously amusing ways, but I don't want to give away the twisted endings! There are also zombies, suspicious pets, and even a Black Friday shopping scenario that doesn't end well for one greedy shopper.

I find it very difficult to review collections of short stories without reviewing every short story, but here's what you need to know about this series: Lubar is a short story writer of the first order and greatly undervalued. His work should be in every middle grade literature textbook as an example of how to spin a perfect plot, work in character development, add a surprise ending, and do it all in clever, beautifully crafted language. Sure, there are fart jokes (and one entire story about farts turning into gold...) and lizard people, and a lot of general goofiness, but that just shows a knowledge of the target demographic. John Cheever is not going to hit tweens where they live, no matter how brilliant his writing. David Lubar does. Behind the goofiness lies a lot of psychological understanding of what children find funny... and what they find terrifying. I need to remember to start giving this series to teachers who want read alouds or examples of scary stories around Halloween.
Strengths: Read above!
Weaknesses: The covers work against these books in middle school. The stories are as scary as anything by Alvin Schwartz, but the cartoon hot dogs send another message. Even I forget how nicely creepy these are. Also, some stories have a little too much bodily humor for MY taste, making this perfect for 4th and 5th graders!
What I really think: My big take away from this was that I can protect myself from vampires with heavy duty tomato stakes. Brilliant!

Ms. Yingling

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