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.

 

Back to School Contest

9/9/2016: I’m awarding books to Laura Beth, maryy-st, and Of Glass and Books. I’ll be notifying you all shortly and sending the files. Thanks to everyone who entered.

It’s contest time! Leave a comment below and be entered to win a copy of the electronic version of Elephants Never Forgotten. Contest closes at noon (EST) on Friday (Sept. 9th). I’ll do a random drawing and award two books. To enter, post a comment below on what you most like(d) about school. What was/is your favorite class? Who was/is your best friend? Who was/is your favorite teacher (or who do you despise)? Spill! Don’t forget to leave me a way to contact you. Add your email or website where I can find you. If your icon doesn’t lead anywhere, I can’t find you!elephants never forgotten 2  

JURASSIC PARK meets MICRO in this exciting MG adventure!

ELEPHANTS NEVER FORGOTTEN

A hundred years from now, twelve-year-old Nigella receives a shipment from her deceased grandfather. Her inheritance is a herd of micro-elephants. While a lot of her friends have micro-pets, Nigella is at a loss on how to care for hers. Why are her micros so different from everyone else’s? What was her grandfather up to? In her struggle to understand them, she learns that there might be a group of wild elephants left in a remote part of Africa. With the help of her best friend, Kepler, the girls set off on an adventure to discover the truth.

 

What readers are saying:

“Ellis Nelson’s superb writing made this book a joy to read. I felt like I was right there experiencing the journey, the concerns, the total adventure. Lessons about friendship and family, ecology abound.”

“Ellis Nelson has a way with tweens.”

“…buy it for the tweens in your life and let it instigate a discussion on animal conservation.”

“An intriguing, positive read for tweens.”

BUY FROM AMAZON

BUY FROM MUSEITUP

 

 

Excavating Pema Ozer by Yudron Yangmo

 

Pema

As you all probably know, I have a deep interest in Buddhism and recently came across this book. It is a wonderful story of a teenager coming into contact with Tibetan Buddhism for the first time.

Here’s the blurb:

Weslyn Redinger wants one thing: to be normal again. Racked by panic attacks that have ruined her life and driven off her friends in the months since she saw the body of a young boy she loved rolled out to a waiting ambulance, she is now drawn into a circle of seekers who surround a mysterious stranger living in her grandmother’s backyard shed. After reluctantly attending his teachings, a series of dreams is unleashed—as vivid as her waking life. At night she is an attendant to the female teacher Uza Khandro from the Tibetan countryside, during the day she is a flawed sixteen-year-old struggling to get control over her body and her life. Why does she care so much about this man’s story of a long-lost set of Tibetan books hoarded by a greedy collector?

Amazon link: http://goo.gl/TFX8sy

 

BORN OF ILLUSION by Teri Brown

 

Born

This is an engaging story of teen Anna Van Housen’s life as a stage magician during the 1920s. When Anna and her mother relocate to New York City, their lives become more stable with sold-out shows. Unfortunately, Anna’s relationship with her mother is strained and when she insists that they continue to do séances on the side, Anna becomes worried. Although the séances are totally fabricated, Anna has real psychic ability she has yet to come to terms with. Continuing with the séances also puts them under the scrutiny of the police and debunkers (not the least of which is Harry Houdini who happens to be in New York as well). As success with the magic show and the séances grow, Anna gets mixed up with paranormal researchers, a high society bachelor, and a kidnapping plot. It’s a fast moving book with lots of well-researched facts about New York and the 1920s. And Harry Houdini might just be Anna’s father.

We Are All Made of Molecules

                                                                      by Susin Nielsen

molecules 

What happens when two very different teenagers are forced to live under one roof because their parents decide to live together? This is the story of a blended family in modern times facing the age old dilemma: how to get along and make the best of a challenging situation. Stewart is 13, socially challenged, just lost his mother. He’s as brilliant as he is awkward.  Ashley is 14, not good at school, and very concerned with her social standing and appearance. She is coping (just barely) with her parent’s divorce and her father announcing he’s gay. The story is told in alternating chapters revealing how each of them is adjusting to the changes. Stewart is a very likable character, but Ashley comes off like a spoiled brat. Their interaction shows Ashley’s ability to be cruel. I suppose, that’s why this book rings so true. The author’s use of humor certainly softens the tension and we do see Ashley begin to change over time. Issues of bullying and intolerance are core themes here. It’s an easy, entertaining read. RECOMMENDED!

Here’s a Story for You:

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I was the kind of kid who read stories about kids doing things. Going places, discovering things, solving mysteries. Of course, there had to be obstacles. Maybe a bad guy, difficult situations to overcome, parents to get rid of (not in the kill’em off sense) but more in the way of finding freedom and doing what you want. In some ways, it was a huge fantasy! I grew up with four brothers and two sisters and doing anything without someone knowing was close to impossible. BUT, some of them could be bought off. Silly fantasy, really. I was the biggest tattle tale there was! Always being “on the straight and narrow” prevented lots of escapes and adventures except for in books and in my mind.

maya

photo: Laslovarga, 2013

A headline from this week’s news (try finding one that’s not about the insane election, right about now), has challenged my sense of adventure. What if a 15 year old boy discovers a lost Mayan city no one else knew was there? He’s a smart kid, maybe even gifted, and he gets this ludicrous idea that by studying star maps he can decode the placement of an entire civilization? He sets out to prove this, but silly adult organizations like NASA and the Canadian Space Agency won’t loan him their satellite photos. Said kid takes to the road, abandoning his sane life, and becoming a young version of Indiana Jones- except his temples turn out to be real. Anyway, once the book’s out, Steven Spielberg will be making it into a movie.

For more about the real kid, named William Gadoury, click the link. The space agencies did support him and it looks like he’s made quite a find!

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/forgotten-mayan-city-discovered-in-central-america-by-15-year-old-a7021291.html

SHIFT by Jennifer Bradbury

shift

This is a fast paced mystery book that will keep you guessing. It is one of the few books I read quickly cover to cover.

The story opens with Chris in his first week of college. An FBI agent appears asking questions about his best friend, Win. The last time Chris saw his friend was when Win ditched him near Seattle on their cross-country bike trip. Win has been reported missing having failed to come home or arrive at Dartmouth. At first, Chris thinks Win is just up to his usual shenanigans, but as time passes and the FBI agent’s attention on him becomes uncomfortable, he’s forced to dive into Win’s disappearance.

The author has done a wonderful job constructing the novel using alternating chapters showing the investigation and flashbacks to the bike trek. The novel explores the depth of friendship and the mysteries of trying to fully know another.