Welcome to Feral

Holiday House. (Frights from Feral: Bk. 1). Nov. 2022. 240p. Tr $21.99. ISBN 9780823448654. pap $13.99. ISBN 9780823454907 .
Gr 4 Up–In this wild and weird graphic novel about the supernatural small town of Feral, many a terrifying tale is told as Fearing sets a city-sized stage on which to spin tall tales of youthful demise. A flannel-clad narrator frames stories of sinister playground slides, a soul-sucking sweets seller, and a campfire vampire. Fearing’s illustrations are sketchy, infused with the energetic spirit of childhood, and the characters’ expressions are almost goofy, so it’s something of a surprise when the yarns he weaves nearly all end in protagonists trapped, transformed, or blasted to space. For newcomers to scary stories, it’s a slightly discombobulating, and thus perfect, way to introduce the psyche-rocking roots of horror—terrifying concepts, parceled out in manageable morsels for more timid readers.
VERDICT An amusing, just-scary-enough graphic novel for young genre fans and perhaps even those hesitant to try spookier fare.

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