Review Detail

 
Kids Fiction
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Stories within a Story

Alex describes himself as a kid who plays with "what ifs" while other kids are playing with dogs, and that feeling of not fitting in anywhere leads him to sneak out of his family's home one night so that he can burn his secrets. While making his way to the basement of his building, Alex is enticed into an enchanted apartment where he's then held captive by a witch. While trapped, Alex has to tell a story each night to keep the witch appeased. While there, Alex finds a friend in his fellow prisoner, Yasmin, and the two of them earn the trust of the witch’s familiar that is tasked to watch over them while the witch tends to her day-to-day business.

NIGHTBOOKS by J.A. White is spooky and frightening and has stories that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Harkening to One Thousand and One Nights and with tie-ins to other folk stories and fairy tales, NIGHTBOOKS is what I think of as "safe" horror: perfect for kids in middle grades who want to be scared by a book, but who also want to feel grounded and safe while reading the tales of terror that pull at them. All of the stories imbedded in NIGHTBOOKS are intriguing and scary (as is the main story), but none should push the reader too far into the nightmare zone. They aren't gruesome; they’re brief and full of suspense, and the key to their ability to frighten the reader is in hitting close to home in their settings and topics for the age group at which they're directed.

Alex and Yasmin are affable characters, and they’re well developed through the narrative, as is their friendship. Kids will be drawn to Alex’s feeling of otherness as he ponders his place in the world, and Yasmin has a relatable backstory as well. The writing is great, and the plot moves well. As the book catapulted toward the climax, I couldn’t flip through the pages fast enough.

I really enjoyed NIGHTBOOKS, and it is exactly the kind of book I would have loved to read in my younger years, too.

My thanks to the publisher and YA Books Central for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Good Points
Intriguing and scary short stories embedded in the main story
Great writing
Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Whispers of Shadow & Flame (Earthsinger, #2)
The Mantle that separates the kingdoms of Elsira and Lagrimar...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Plague of Death Anchoress Series Book Two
Her light protects her world. But to defeat an...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
The Kingdom
Welcome to the Kingdom… where "Happily Ever After" isn’t...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Stepsister
Isabelle should be blissfully happy - she's about to...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Merbaby's Lullaby
Hush, foam rocker, sleep, wave breaker. ...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Mage's Apprentice
Vampires. Shifters. Fae. Mages. This ain’t the New York...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bright Burning Stars
Best friends Marine Duval and Kate Sanders have trained...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Shatter the Sky (Shatter the Sky, #1)
Raised among the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Voice in my Head
For Indigo Phillips, life has always been about basking...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Virtue of Sin
Miriam lives in New Jerusalem, a haven in the desert...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Tin
Tin
In an alternative England of the 1930s where the laws...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Stolen Girl
Nadia is haunted by World War II. Her memories of...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Iliad
More than three thousand years ago, two armies faced each...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
A Light Amongst Shadows
James Spencer is hardly the typical troubled youth who ends...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
the orphan fixed.jpg
Sometimes the ones who save us are the ones we...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Astrid the Unstoppable
Pippi Longstocking meets Heidi meets Anne Shirley in this tale...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Merbaby's Lullaby
 
5.0
"MERBABY’S LULLABY is an elegant and sweet poem, perfect for a bedtime book. As waves rock, whales sing, and starfish..."
Tin
Tin
 
5.0
"Christopher is an orphan boy who works for Mr. Absalom, an engineer who creates mechanicals, a 1930s version of robots...."
The Light Jar
 
4.0
"Nate and his mother leave their home in the middle of the night to get away from Gary, an emotionally..."
Stolen Girl
 
4.0
"Nadia and Marusia arrive in Canada after being in Displaced Persons camps in Europe. They are Ukrainian, and Nadia is..."
Because of the Rabbit
 
4.0
"Emma's father is a game warden, and when she accompanies him on a rabbit rescue, she falls in love with..."
Astrid the Unstoppable
 
5.0
"Nine-year-old Astrid is the only child in her Norwegian village, and she's called the little thunderbolt by the adults living..."
Dr. Snow Has Got To Go
 
3.5
"Dr. Snow Has To Go is a loosely illustrated chapter book with humor that just might go over some young..."
Mangoes, Mischief, and Tales of Friendship
 
4.0
"MANGOES, MISCHIEF, AND TALES OF FRIENDSHIP is based off of Indian folklore. It's broken up into two parts, but both..."
Secrets of a Fangirl
 
5.0
"Sarah Anne is the biggest fan of the MK Nightshade series, but it's taboo in the popular world of her..."
Jaclyn Hyde
 
5.0
"JACLYN HYDE is a fun middle grade retelling of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Jaclyn is..."
The Lost Heir (Wings of Fire Graphic Novel #2)
 
4.5
"Fans of the Wings of Fire Series won't want to miss the graphic novels. The colors are bright and the..."
Secrets of a Fangirl
 
4.0
"SECRETS OF A FANGIRL is a fun contemporary middle grade about embracing yourself for who you are and what you..."
Scream Site
 
4.0
"After reading Justina Ireland's YA, Dread Nation, which has a solid amount of scare, I was ecstatic to pick up..."
Willbee the Bumblebee
 
5.0
"The story has a beautiful rhythm to it as Willbee the Bumblebee flies around the lovely garden he calls home...."
A Wolf Called Wander
 
4.5
"Roseanne Parry’s book, A Wolf Called Wander is based on a real story about a wolf who became separated from..."
New Kid
 
4.5
"'New Kid' by Jerry Craft follows main character Jordan, a seventh grader who wants to go to an art school,..."
Dragons Eat Noodles on Tuesdays
 
4.0
"DRAGONS EAT NOODLES ON TUESDAY is a silly story about two monsters who are trying to tell a story. However,..."
Lizzy McTizzy and the Busy Dizzy Day
 
4.0
"Lizzy McTizzy is late for a party but she can't find her shoe. She looks everywhere both inside and outside..."
Hello Knights
 
5.0
"HELLO KNIGHTS is all about the life of a knight. There's armor, a king, a queen, knights marching here and..."
Future Astronaut (Future Baby)
 
5.0
"FUTURE ASTRONAUT is a completely charming and brightly colored book that compares astronauts to babies. For instance, astronauts eat from..."