A boy is imprisoned by a witch and must tell her a new scary story each night to stay alive. This thrilling contemporary fantasy from J. A. White, the acclaimed author of the Thickety series, brings to life the magic and craft of storytelling.
Alex’s original hair-raising tales are the only thing keeping the witch Natacha happy, but soon he’ll run out of pages to read from and be trapped forever. He’s loved scary stories his whole life, and he knows most don’t have a happily ever after. Now that Alex is trapped in a true terrifying tale, he’s desperate for a different ending—and a way out of this twisted place.
This modern spin on the Scheherazade story is perfect for fans of Coraline and A Tale Dark and Grimm. With interwoven tips on writing with suspense, adding in plot twists, hooks, interior logic, and dealing with writer’s block, this is the ideal book for budding writers and all readers of delightfully just-dark-enough tales.
* Summer 2018 Kids' Indie Next List * YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Nomination * 2019-2020 Florida Sunshine State Young Readers Award * 2020 Rhode Island Children's Book Award Nominee * Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year 2019 (9-12) * 2020-2021 Missouri Association of School Librarians Truman Readers Award Preliminary Nominee *
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.70(d)|
|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
About the Author
J. A. White is the author of The Thickety: A Path Begins. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, three sons, and a hamster named Ophelia that doesn't like him very much. When he's not making up stories, he teaches a bunch of kids how to make up stories (along with math and science and other important stuff). He wishes dragons were real because it would be a much cooler way to get to work.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I loved listening to this audio. It was like listening to stories within a story. I thought some of the stories that Alex told were just a good or better than the main story. There were times that I found myself crackling and laughing this sinister laugh as I listened to this audio, for the witch would make her appearance and she would shake things and of course, that would affect me too. There were a few twists in this novel too which I didn’t see coming. Such an enjoyable novel to listen to, one that the whole family could get involved in. She lures them in, she knows exactly what entices them and then, when the door closes, they are hers. There’s no way out, at least not in the traditional sense and so they’re stuck. Alex is lured into the apartment on his way down to the basement, for he was on a mission that he hoped would change his life. But now? His life is changed and he’s glad that he didn’t make it down to the incinerator because he needs his journals, those pages have his stories on them and he needs them now, more than ever. Witch Natacha says she needs to hear Alex’s stories, his scary stories each night and so, she makes him write a new one every day. Natacha says she enjoys them but in reality, it’s really not her that needs these stories but Alex better keep the stories coming if he’s going to make it out of her apartment alive. Alex meets Yasmin inside the witch’s apartment for she’s been trapped there for a while. Alex is determined to escape but Yasmin tells Alex to stop talking like that. The cat will tell the witch what he hears and you never know what the witch will then do to them. Alex is determined to escape yet he has to spend his days writing stories in the apartment, the apartment that is charmed by magic. This was an excellent story, I really enjoyed the audio and hated to take it back to the library.
Nightbooks blends the fairy tale elements of Hansel and Gretel into a modern story that readers will love. Unlike Disney’s version of fairy tales, Nightbooks keeps the dark elements alive by delving into how a person becomes evil. This action-packed story is full of frightening elements, interesting characters, and several twisty surprises. As Alex, Yasmin, and a cat named Lenore join together to defeat Natasha, readers will cheer as the three try to stay alive and find a way to escape. Alex and Yasmin aren’t the only well-developed characters. The witch Natasha is a uniquely interesting character because she is cruel, but she is also clearly frightened of the creepy, ever-changing apartment in which she lives. Although Natasha is obviously evil, her well-developed character gives the reader a glimpse into her history, adding interest to the story. Throughout the story, Alex reads his own scary tales, adding another interesting element to Nightbooks. His stories do not distract from the main story, but add more frightening elements—dead children, vampires, and an evil teddy bear. Both Alex’s stories and the main narrative are creepy and scary, but the descriptions are not gory. Many younger readers will relate to Alex, who feels like he is abnormal and does not fit in. A theme of normalcy is integrated into the story through Alex’s struggle with his desire to be like everyone else. In the end he realizes, “So what if I write scary stories? I might hurt someone with nouns and adjectives, but I would never hurt someone for real.” Readers will come away from this story with a message about the importance of courage, compassion, friendship, and accepting yourself. For those who like a fast-paced, frightening story, Nightbooks is a superb scary story for middle school readers. Read more at Sneak Peek Book Reviews.
This book kept me awake and reading through the night. More please!