Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Wait Till Helen Comes will always be the high water mark of middle grade horror for me. I read Mary Downing Hahn's classic so many times that I can recite some pages of it verbatim. When a student tells me that she likes scary books, it's always the first one I recommend. So I was ecstatic to see the cover of Took, which is the creepiest I've seen in awhile.

When his family moved from Connecticut to West Virginia, Daniel has a difficult transition. His parents can't find jobs, the kids are cruel to him, and his sister Erica is acting strange. She is withdrawing into herself and only talking to her doll, which seems a little too similar to the ghost stories his classmates told him about a girl who was 'took' by a witch fifty years before. Daniel realizes that they may be more than just stories, but in typical scary book fashion, no one believes him, so he needs to save his sister on his own.

This is a spooky and engaging book, yet not too scary for my fifth grade students. I'm so excited to have another book that I can recommend to them, especially in October when they are clamoring for frightening books.

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