Review Detail

Scary Books for Beginning Readers
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Rory is going to be in big trouble for breaking the family television-- or he would, if he hadn't hidden outside in the yard and eaten a poisonous berry. Given that he goes toWashington Irving Elementary School and his friends have been turned into monsters in previous books, it's not a surprise that Rory turns into a ghost. At first, being a ghost is kind of cool, especially when he finds a ghost puppy, but when he visits Winston House and talks to other ghosts there, he finds out that he has two hours to alert his family and help them find his body and get help, or he will be a ghost permanently. When he helps a victim of Madame Zonga's bad fortune telling by manifesting himself so that living people can see him, the ghost of Josiah Winston is very interested in having Rory help him as a poltergeist, but when Rory almost has a run in with a Teridakian who is sucking up ghosts, he knows that it is more important to keep living.

These Monsterific Tales are really meant for younger readers (Rory is a kindergartener), but they are also a good choice for reluctant middle school readers who want a book that they can finish quickly. For them, this is pleasantly creepy in a funny way; for younger readers, I would imagine that these would be a little scarier, since they might be afraid that they would turn in to ghosts. For whatever reason, children like to be scared, and I love that Mr. Lubar remembers this from his own childhood and writes his fun tales accordingly.
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