The Stitchers

 
4.5 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
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The Stitchers
Age Range
8+
Release Date
August 18, 2020
ISBN
9781419746925
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The start of a spine-chilling new horror series about the eerie happenings in a small town

Something strange is happening on Goodie Lane . . .

Thirteen-year-old Quinn Parker knows that there’s something off about her neighbors. She calls them “the Oldies” because they’ve lived on Goodie Lane for as long as anyone can remember, but they never seem to age. Are they vampires? Or aliens? Or getting secret experimental surgeries? Or is Quinn’s imagination just running wild again?

If her dad were still around, he’d believe her. When he was alive, they’d come up with all sorts of theories about the Oldies. Now, Quinn’s determined to keep the investigation going with the help of Mike, her neighbor and maybe-crush. They’ll have to search for clues and follow the mystery wherever it leads—even if it’s to the eerie pond at the end of the street that’s said to have its own sinister secrets. But the Oldies are on to them. And the closer Quinn and Mike get to uncovering the answers, the more they realize just how terrifying the truth may be.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
Highly recommended for fans of RL Stine and Camp Murderface
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Quinn’s neighborhood is mostly normal, until you look at Goodie Lane. The residents of Goodie Lane have lived there for as long as anyone remembers, but something is off about them. They don’t seem to age. Quinn and her friend, Mike, have started an investigation into them. Quinn thinks something supernatural is going on, while Mike hypothesizes the “Oldies” just had a lot of plastic surgery. As they dive deeper into the case, the scarier it gets. It soon becomes clear someone doesn’t want them asking questions…and they’ll make sure Quinn and Mike stop.

Reasons to read THE STITCHERS:
1.) The suspense/horror: The Oldies are a creepy, creepy bunch. There is also an added mystery of a girl who died decades ago who may be connected to them. THE STITCHERS has the perfect level of spooky while still being a good fit for middle grade audiences who might not be ready for Stephen King level horror.
2.) The realistic depiction of being a 12/13 year old: Quinn is at a point in her childhood development that we don’t always see a lot of in middle grade. She’s starting to have a serious crush, has her sights set on making captain of her track team, and frequently feels awkward and uncomfortable. Her emotions and the interactions with her friend group and teammates feels authentic and relatable.
3.) The nuances of grief: In the first few pages, we learn that Quinn has recently lost her father and is still adjusting to life without him. She’s at a stage where she can get through the day to day and focus on school and life, but she misses him and thinks of him often, especially as the investigation gets more intense.

THE STITCHERS is highly recommended for fans of RL Stine and Camp Murderface.
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What Will the Neighbors Think?
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Quinn Parker lives on Goodie Lane in a small Connecticut town with her mother and her older, arthritic dog, Billy. Her father, who was a policeman, passed away recently, and Quinn is struggling with missing him. He shared her concern about the odd behavior of the "Oldies" on her street, and since his passing, she has taken to investigating them with the assistance of neighbor and classmate, Mike. The two are on the track team and meet up in the mornings to run, talk, and judiciously spy on their creepy neighbors. The Oldies are secretive, artificially young looking, and judgmental about the children's actions, but are also civic leaders who donate a lot of money to various causes around town. When the local pond starts drawing Quinn to it, and she finds that the young girl who used to live in her house, Mary Hove, died there 55 years ago on the Fourth of July, she and Mike are even more worried. Because they spend so much time together, Quinn's best friend, Zoe, thinks that the two are dating. Mike thinks it would be an easy cover for their investigation if people were to think that, although Quinn doesn't like to lie to her friend. Quinn's mother, a nurse, works long hours, but her grandmother, Grandma Jane, stops by to spend time with Quinn and cook delicious meals for her. When Quinn finds her father's notebook about the Oldies and turns up some interesting research at the public library, she and Mike start snooping in earnest and find out very dark secrets about her creepy neighbors. Luckily, neighbor Red is not one of their group, and he helps out when things get very dire. Will Quinn and Mike be able to figure out what's going on before the Fourth of July brings certain doom to the neighborhood?
Good Points
This had some very sneaky similarities to Stine's venerable Fear Street books; connection to witches in early New England, a street where things are not as they seem, and deep rooted secrets that threaten to harm innocent people. However, this has a definite middle grade spin, and eschews the standard "bodies falling out of closets at the end of every chapter" that defines the cheesy 1990s horror genre. Instead, Quinn and Mike have valid concerns, and investigate them thoroughly. I don't want to ruin the twists and turns, but this does get nicely violently creepy at the end. Let's just say that I'm going to be SUPER careful when running by the wetlands in my neighborhood! Any book that involves running is going to be a hit with me, and I really enjoyed how well Mike and Quinn got along. Grandma Jane has some really nice scenes, and Billy the dog does not die. (My dog Sylvie would just like to say that her vet put her on Natural T-Relief Mobility tablets, and they have helped a bit with her joint stiffness!)

While the father's death puts some level of pathos in this, and it's handled in a forward going manner, I will always think there is a way to construct a story without killing parents. It's just overdone. Readers who want horror stories will be pleased with the super creepy neighbors and might not care as much about this sub plot.

I'm glad to see that this will be a series, and excited to have this, along with a lot of new K.R. Alexander titles and the Haunted series, which includes Sutherland,'s The Nightmare Next Door. There have been a lot more horror books coming out recently, and there is certainly a demand for ones like Currie's Scritch Scratch, Hermon's Hide and Seeker, and Hill's The Forgotten Girl. Now, if we could add in just a few bodies behind doors, my students would approve.
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