Fiends on the Other Side

Disney-Hyperion. (Disney Chills: Bk. 2). Oct. 2020. 208p. pap. $6.99. ISBN 9781368048361.
Gr 3-5–In this second installment of the series, twins Malik and Jamal must work together if they and their beloved New Orleans are to survive. Malik is smart, good at basketball, and has just been voted class president. Jamal feels like he is always in his brother’s shadow and desperately wants to be noticed. When the twins’ mysterious and reclusive grandmother dies, she leaves two boxes for the boys. Malik’s box contains a cool antique trumpet, and Jamal’s a strange skull necklace and a cryptic note. Once again Jamal feels he has been cheated. What Jamal doesn’t know is that the evil Dr. Facilier wants that necklace, and he is willing to do anything to get it. The story isn’t keep-you-up-at-night scary, but it is creepy. Each book in the series incorporates a familiar Disney villain who young readers will enjoy reading about. The New Orleans setting brings an interesting element to the book, and Jamal learns a very important lesson about friendship and the destructive nature of envy and jealousy.
VERDICT If you are looking for a new series to satisfy students seeking a creepy, but not bone-chilling story, this is one to consider. Fans of “Goosebumps” and Alvin Schwartz will like this title.

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