Splintered by AG Howard

Splintered

 

This is a re-imagining of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa Gardner is the great granddaughter of Alice Liddell, the real girl for whom Lewis Carroll created his masterpiece. But what if he got it all wrong? What if Carroll dumbed down and made the dangerous Wonderland merely magical and quaint? What if something truly horrific happened to Alice and was covered up?

Alyssa’s mother is in a mental hospital and, as the book opens, we follow the daughter and her peculiar artform utilizing dead bugs. Alyssa is edgy, artsy, and perhaps mad like her mother. Or is she? As her mother worsens, Alyssa is summoned back to under-land to face a curse put in place generations ago.

AG Howard has done a wonderful job in creating a dark, sinister under-land. Carroll’s book has a sophistication of language, but the tale can easily be read by grade-schoolers. Howard’s book confronts YA topics including mental illness, cruelty, animal abuse, and sexual awakening. Alyssa herself is no Alice. She has a dark side seen reflected in the character of Morpheus who is her guide in under-land. At times she is attracted to him and at times she is repelled, but she seems to have control over neither. This is book one of what is becoming a popular series.

3 Creepy Tales for YA Readers

‘Tis the season for chills & all things ghostly. Grab one of these if you dare!

Princess of the Damned (Skeleton Key) by Wendy Knight

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What do you do when the face in the mirror isn’t yours?
Landon has never seen his own reflection. He saw hers instead. He grew up watching this girl in the mirror grow with him. Grew up memorizing every feature, every movement, every horror she endured. He can see into her palace, into the darkness she’s trapped in.
When he was little, he told his parents about her. They thought she was an imaginary friend, and they humored him.
But she didn’t go away.
And when Landon was seventeen, he fell in love with her.
She is a captive of the Queen of the Damned.
Now he’ll risk everything to try to save her—his life, his home, his entire world.
Bloody Mary
The queen in the mirror.
Bloody Mary
Waiting to steal your soul.
Bloody Ma…

https://www.amazon.com/Princess-Damned-Skeleton-Wendy-Knight-ebook/dp/B01GOQ828U

Best Friends Forever by Patti Larsen

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A tragic accident strips sixteen-year-old Emily Underman of her three best friends. Depression consumes her as life becomes the endless gray place of feeling nothing. Until her little brother goes missing, jerking her out of her emotional coma. That’s when her friends appear. Haunting her, driving her to madness. Trying to tell her something. Making her question the motives of the lead detective on her brother’s case. Doubt the nice man next door. And making it hard for her to resist the only person who understands her—the detective’s son, Todd. Guilt forces her to trust the spirits of her ghostly friends who lead her closer and closer to the kidnapper—and redemption.

https://www.amazon.com/Best-Friends-Forever-Patti-Larsen-ebook/dp/B0080G04GQ/

Sanctuary:(Shifter Chronicles Book 1) by Melle Amade

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It’s survival of the fittest, but first you have to fit in.

Shae is sure the icy rage that eats away at her is driving away her friends and pulling her closer to the wrong boy. But, as her protected world unravels, she discovers the violent supernatural world that lurks in her quiet hometown and the ancient feuds that threaten to destroy both her friends and her family. To save those she loves, Shae must succumb to her own fury, but at what cost?

https://www.amazon.com/Sanctuary-urban-fantasy-Shifter-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01M13W8EP

3 Creepy Tales for Middle Graders

The days grow shorter and the nights carry a chill. Halloween is just around the corner and here are some suitably scary tales for fall.

The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox

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Twelve-year-old Katherine Bateson believes in a logical explanation for everything. But even she can’t make sense of the strange goings-on at Rookskill Castle, the drafty old Scottish castle-turned-school where she and her siblings have been sent to escape the London Blitz. What’s making those mechanical shrieks at night? Why do the castle’s walls seem to have a mind of their own? And who are the silent children who seem to haunt Rookskill’s grounds? Kat believes Lady Eleanor, who rules the castle, is harboring a Nazi spy. But when her classmates begin to vanish, one by one, Kat must face the truth about what the castle actually harbors–and what Lady Eleanor is–before it’s too late.

Brightwood by Tania Unsworth

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Daisy Fitzjohn knows there are two worlds: the outside world and the world of her home, a secluded mansion called Brightwood Hall. But only Brightwood is real for Daisy–she’s never once set foot outside its grounds. Daisy and her mother have everything they need within Brightwood’s magnificent, half-ruined walls, including Daisy’s best friends: a talking rat named Tar and the ghost of a long-ago explorer who calls herself Frank.

When Daisy’s mother leaves one morning, a peculiar visitor, James Gritting, arrives on the estate, claiming to be a distant cousin. But as the days tick by and Daisy’s mother doesn’t return, Gritting becomes more and more menacing. He wants Brightwood for himself, and he will do anything to get it.

Curse of the Boggin by DJ MacHale

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There’s a place beyond this world, beyond the land of the living, where ghosts go to write their unfinished stories—stories that ended too soon. It’s a place for unexplained phenomena: mysteries that have never been solved, spirits that have never been laid to rest. And there’s only one way in or out.

It’s called the Library, and you can get there with a special key. But beware! Don’t start a story you can’t finish. Because in this library, the stories you can’t finish just might finish you.

 

Dream Boy by Mary Crockett & Madelyn Rosenberg

dream boy

We all dream. Some of them are good. Annabelle dreams about the perfect and irresistible Josh. Imagine her shock when he walks into her science class one day. She tries to dismiss it as coincidence. Martin Zinkle just looks like Josh. But that’s not the case. Martin knows things about her he shouldn’t. Did Annabelle dream this boy up and then have him walk into her life? What other explanation is there? Regardless of how Martin arrived, Annabelle is smitten. Martin’s behavior becomes more possessive as he tries to anticipate her every need. Will, Annabelle’s long time best friend, is thrown off balance the more Martin plays the role of perfect boyfriend. The real tension of the novel begins when Annabelle starts having nightmares and those begin to intrude on her life turning very threatening. It was the premise of this book not the teenage dating angst that got me reading this. What if dreams are not just fanciful imaginings or attempts to offer solutions to everyday problems? What if you can dream and create your reality? Read the book to start to tease out your own understanding of how we might be co-creators of our own experience.