Saddleback. (White Lightning Mysteries). Jun. 2023. 80p. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781638892083.
Gr 4-7–After his parents leave his older brother, Clayton, in charge, Asher decides to play a prank on him. Things go horribly wrong, however, when Clayton breaks a container that unleashes three insects in the house. These, however, aren’t ordinary insects. They are designer, black market bugs. The worm releases a deadly red slime. The beetle devours small insects. The venomous spider, however, is the most dangerous of all. If the brothers don’t destroy the bugs, the consequences could be disastrous. Can they get rid of the bugs in time? The plot is engaging and full of twists and turns. Multiple scenes are intense and pull readers into the story. The characters are unlikable but have pretty realistic sibling dynamics. The text is easy to follow and fits well with the hi-lo reading style. The layout is dyslexic-friendly with heavy bottom fonts, letter spacing, and white space. Characters are presumed white. The book is written at a third grade reading level.
VERDICT For reluctant readers who enjoy The Twilight Zone, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, horror, darker fiction, or mysteries, this is a must-read. Recommended for most library collections.

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