The wind whispered through the vines, making them quiver and bend. The scarecrows creaked, shaking their arms as if waving us away. A large pumpkin came bouncing down a hill. Thud thud thud!
A child loses his head inside a pumpkin. A skin-crawling spider spell is cast on a sorcerer's apprentice. A visit to the hospital for a tonsillectomy takes a ghoulish turn. These things don't happen--do they? In Nightmare Hour they do. The fiendishly prolific R.L. Stine, author of the Goosebumps series, offers 10 scary tales to keep you up late, quivering beneath the covers. Each heart-pounding, fast-paced story features lively writing and young characters who come into contact with the tricks and illusions on life's darker side. Curious readers will love the author's introduction to each story, where he explains how the idea for it came to him. From "Alien Candy" to "Make Me a Witch," the stories also feature a spooky illustration by artists from Edward Koren to Bleu Turrell. While not gory, some of the book's situations, such as the hospital visit gone wrong, are not for the faint-hearted reader. For the rest, these are tales you'll be too scared to put down. (Ages 10 and older) --Maria Dolan
From Publishers Weekly
Among the scariest of elements in this collection is the full-spread black-and-white artwork, contributed by an array of different artists, that sets the stage for each of the 10 stories. For a taut, harrowing tale of mistaken identity set in the children's ward of a hospital on Halloween night, "I'm Not Martin," Clay Patrick McBride creates a photocollage of a ward with an oversize, eyeless doll's head, holding an IV bottle on a pole in one hand and a human foot in the other, as a boy peers through a curtained screen. The impressive roster of illustrators also includes Edward Koren, Gary Kelley and Mark Summers. The author offers additional eerie lead-ins to the tales with his brief introductions, in which he describes alleged incidents that prompted his plots. For instance, the setting for "Nightmare Inn"Astarring a girl who encounters a pair of werewolves in the run-down establishment her mother plans to purchaseAwas inspired by Stine's stay in a sprawling New England inn in which he was the only guest. The author's many fans will surely look over their shoulders once or twice while engrossed in these pages. And they will be pleased to discover the low price of this handsomely designed hardcover. Ages 8-up. (Oct.)
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