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Nightmares! Hardcover – Deckle Edge, September 9, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Eleven-year-old Charlie Laird is absolutely convinced that his stepmother Charlotte is a witch. She dresses funny, serves seriously strange food (kale pancakes), and runs a store called Hazel's Herbarium. Charlie's dad, little brother, and friends all like Charlotte and think Charlie's still grieving for his mom. He's also suffering from terrible nightmares, and living in Charlotte's crazy purple mansion isn't helping. The evil witch who stars in those nightmares threatens to follow the protagonist into the real world and kidnap his brother. Instead, he is tricked into the Nightmare World, peopled with monsters and madness: gorgons, goblins, crazy clowns, scary bunnies, tests filled with gibberish, and the monomaniacal President Fear (who also inhabits the real world as the truly terrifying Principal Stearns). But all is not what it seems, and some of the scariest creatures turn out to be sympathetic—or even allies. There are lessons to be learned about facing fears and uncovering the real enemy in this tale. Pals Alfie, Rocco, and Paige are interesting and fairly three-dimensional; most of the adults (with the exceptions of Fear/Stearns and Charlotte) are merely background. The fear is as much psychological as anything, and there's humor and a fairly high ick-factor, but relatively little violence. A good choice for elementary-aged scare-seekers.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
Praise for the Nightmares! Series:
Texas Bluebonnet Nominee
"Charlie Laird, who learns fear will eat you alive if you feed it, makes an impression, and...readers will want to accompany him again."—The New York Times Book Review
"A touching comical saga...about facing things that go bump in the night."—US Weekly
"Coraline meets Monsters, Inc. in this delightfully entertaining offering from actor [Jason] Segel and co-author [Kirsten] Miller."—Publishers Weekly
"Comical antics, cartoonish spot illustrations, and creepy villains make for quite an entertaining read."—Booklist
"Succeeds at scaring and amusing in equal measure . . . Sweet, charming, and imaginative."—Kirkus Reviews
"An engaging and creative story...woven with a generous amount [of] humor."—VOYA
"There's humor and a fairly high ick-factor."—School Library Journal
"Cleverly crafted...This novel presents just the right mix of 'scary and humorous.'"—ILA Literacy Daily
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