Jenny's Library

Posts Tagged ‘horror

cover image for Dragonbreath: No Such Thing As GhostsDragonbreath: No Such Thing as Ghosts by Ursula Vernon

It’s Halloween night and Danny and Wendell – and the skeptical, scientific minded Christiana Vanderpool – have just encountered something far more dangerous than any monster: Big Eddy the bully. When Big Eddy dares Danny to go inside a house that everyone says is haunted, Danny isn’t worried about being seen as a coward, but he figures the house can’t possibly be any worse than having to deal with Big Eddy, no matter how scary it looks.  But is Christiana right? Are there really no such things as ghosts? Or is there really something not quite living lurking inside?

The comfort of series is that we know what we are getting. Which can sound boring and immature, but often that depends on the reader and author.  When you are 8 and still learning to read, familiarity is actually a useful trait to find in a book.  And there’s nothing boring about knowing that what you are going to get is an excellent story.  For even five books in, Vernon’s Dragonbreath series is still brilliant and funny and clever and fresh.

There’s lots to adore about this series, as I’ve talked about before, but what struck me most while reading this installment is how well-rounded the female characters are.  Quite often books that feature boys and/or are meant “for boys” (by people who divide books up in that sort of way) have female characters that are caricatures, but not so here. Dragonbreath may focus on boy characters, but the girls and women (or, rather, female lizards and such) all have personality and opinions.  And even when their opinions are incorrect (according to the boys, or the narrative) they are never framed as unreasonable or silly or lesser.  They remind me a bit of Sayer’s books in that sense, despite the obvious other differences.

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15 great books for Halloween, in no particular order:

cover image for Mouse's First Halloween cover image for Boo to Youcover image for Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie

Mouse First Halloween by Lauren Thompson, Illustrated by Buket Erdogan

Boo to You! by Lois Ehlert

Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie by Jill Esbaum

cover image for Ollie's Halloweencover image for Can You Make a Scary Face?cover image for Bunnicula

Ollie’s Halloween by Olivier Dunrea

Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas

Bunnicula by James Howe

cover image for Creepy Carrots!cover image for Go Away Big Green Monstercover image for Leonardo, The Terrible Monstercover image for In a Dark, Dark Wood

Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown

Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley

Leonardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems

In a Dark, Dark Wood by David A. Carter

cover image for Pumpkin Eyecover image for Aaaarrgghh! Spider!cover image for Piggies in the Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin Eye by Denise Fleming

Aaaarrgghh! Spider! by Lydia Monks

Piggies in the Pumpkin Patch by Mary Peterson

cover image for The Bone Dogcover image for Extreme Pumpkins

Bone Dog by Eric Rohmann

Extreme Pumpkins by Tom Nardone