The Creepshow: The Taker

Scholastic. Sept. 2020. 224p. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781338631234.
Gr 7 Up–This book includes two stories. Bea doesn’t quite feel comfortable in her new home and before long, strange things begin happening. One night Bea awakens to a girl standing in her bedroom. This girl, Kimmie, is the ghost of a girl who used to live in this room; the two girls decide to be friends. However, Kimmie soon grows jealous of Bea and the friends she makes at school. After a frightening incident, Bea decides she needs to get rid of Kimmie. In the second story, Casey is a teenage boy who loves animals. He lives with his mom since his parents divorced, and while Casey is happy, he wishes he could have more pets, specifically an African grey parrot. Casey soon stumbles upon an ad in which someone is giving away his dream pet. African greys are smart, but Dodie seems almost human inam his ability to converse with Casey and his mom. It becomes apparent that there is something different about Dodie. Both stories have a Twilight Zone feel, and while Bea’s story takes time to build, Casey’s is compulsively readable. Both include some dark scenes that are surprising, given the lighthearted feel throughout the preceding text, but this aids in increasing the scare factor. The writing is simplistic and straightforward, and the characters are mostly believable. The race of the characters is not mentioned, except one of Bea’s friends is described as having light brown skin.
VERDICT Purchase where creepy fiction is popular.

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