Friday, December 11, 2020

Stage Fright (Creepers)

Hyde, Edgar J. Stage Fright (Creepers)
September 1st 2020 by Flowerpot Press
Copy provided by Follett First Look

Jenny, Jo and Melissa are the main actors in a creepy school play about witches that is disturbingly graphic (no one needs to read about getting an ingredient for a potion that involves violence to a puppy). They find out that the play was written by a former student, but never performed because bad things kept happening to the cast. This is true for them as well. The girls have a crush on Jeremy, who gets involved in a race with Danny that ends up with Danny in a coma. The girls investigate further and find that the writer was one Geraldine Somers, who died in 1982. They couldn't get a lot of information about her, so of course visit her grave in the local cemetery. Jenny gets caught in a crypt and sees Melissa and Jo as creepy dismembered ghosts. The witches from the play also appear and give Melissa a hard time. When she finally escapes, the girls locate the grave of Geraldine, who tells them that the way to stop the evil the witches are planning is to change the play when they perform it. Will that be enough to send the witches back? 
Strengths: This is an interesting Scottish series that is trying to make its way into different markets. I did appreciate the fact that the book was fairly short (125 pages) and had nice, large font and plenty of white space on the page. The beginning was certainly engaging, if a little too gory for me, what with the puppy and also a hamster coming under the knife. I am always looking for horror books to keep up with the insatiable demands of my students.
Weaknesses: This struck me as more of an elementary horror book because of the style of writing. Granted, rather disturbed elementary students, but the writing had a much simpler quality than middle school readers tend to appreciate. 
What I really think: This was too cheesy for my students, who have very high standards for their scary books. I'd love to see more horror series, but would like them to be more like K.A. Alexander's creepy books or Joel Sutherland's Haunted books. 

 Ms. Yingling

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