Out To Get You: 13 Tales of Weirdness and Woe

Holiday House. Sept. 2019. 176p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780823443666; ebk. ISBN 9780823443949.
Gr 3-8–Move over “Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark,” you’ve got a new neighbor. These chill-worthy, macabre tales are sure to keep many a young reader awake at night. Take, for instance, the tale of Ivy, who found a greenish-black marker on the floor in her class one day. No one claimed it, so she took it for herself; the marker was ideal for drawing a tiny little vine with just three leaves on her hand. Imagine her horror the next day when she discovers the imaginary vine has begun crawling up her arm. Too late, she realizes that taking a shower “waters” the vine and causes it to grow. Desperately, she refuses to shower…for a long, long time. All her friends desert her in her smelly state but she doesn’t care, she just wants the vine to stop growing. Horror and tongue-in-cheek humor meld seamlessly in these unique tales. The settings and characters—including preteens, parents, and principals—will make a lasting impression on readers. In the same vein as Stephen Gammell’s illustrations for Alvin Schwartz’s “Scary Stories,” black-and-white drawings enhance the authenticity of the dark, shady, and grotesque.
VERDICT A top-notch thrill-ride of creepy, crunchy horror. This collection belongs on every young horror shelf.

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