The Ghoul Next Door

The Ghoul Next Door
Author(s)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
July 13, 2021
ISBN
9780062896094
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Eleven-year-old Grey lives in the legend-haunted New England town of Ander’s Landing, and he can’t help but feel like a pair of eyes is watching his every move.

He discovers odd, gruesome bits and pieces from the graveyard that are left for him as gifts like art carved from bones or jewelry made from (hopefully not human) remains. Soon Grey is caught up in something bigger than he could ever have imagined.

He finds himself drawn into a strange mystery involving a race of reclusive subterranean creatures—ghouls, the eaters of the dead! Turns out, his secret admirer is a ghoul named Lavinia. An unlikely friendship forms between them. The only problem is, their friendship breaks traditions—and the punishment is a fate worse than death.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
Unexpected friends and other secret underground creatures
Overall rating
 
4.5
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When Grey takes a shortcut through a grave to get to school, he drops his homemade model of the cemetery project. Before he can get it back, a creepy hand grabs it, and it's gone. Soon after, he finds a new model on his front porch, and later, more gifts from the graveyard. Though he is initially terrified, Grey finds that his mysterious admirer may not be human (anymore), but she is friendly. Their friendship isn't okay with the other ghouls though, and Grey may find himself in more danger than he imagined as he and his new friend bond.

THE GHOUL NEXT DOOR is an adorable story of friendship, bravery, and things that go bump at night. Grey is an easily lovable main character, kind, innocent, and loyal. He isn't afraid to stick up for his friends, even if it gets him in trouble. I loved the initial adventures he and Lavinia go on once he realizes she doesn't mean him any harm.

I was originally a little hesitant about the artwork because of the watercolor-esque coloring. I'm not used to that style in graphic novels, and it look me a bit to adjust. However, once I opened my mind to it, I absolutely loved the coloring. It added a layer of softness that allowed the comic relief to shine through, even in scarier moments. I'm not sure how the artist was able to make Lavinia both creepy and adorable at the same time, but it paid off as Grey's impression of her changed.

Overall, THE GHOUL NEXT DOOR is a perfect scary-adjacent story for young readers who want to dip their toe into horror or supernatural genres but aren't ready for anything too frightening.
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