Good Night, Sleep Tight, Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite!… by Diane deGroat

Click here to see this review on WUAT.

Good Night, Sleep Tight, Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite!
Written and Illustrated by Diane deGroat

Published By: HarperTrophy: An Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers
ISBN-13: 978-0061340611

Gilbert’s Camp Story
Reviewed by Christina Wantz Fixemer
on 09/21/2008

Gilbert has his first overnight trip to camp. All his friends are going, as well as some kids that aren’t as nice. Lewis keeps trying to scare Gilbert by telling him Camp Hi-Dee-Ho is haunted. Everyone knows there’s no such thing as ghosts—or are there?

Gilbert’s experience is one that many children face when going to camp for the first—or fifth—time. The fear of the unknown may stem from the kind of teasing Gilbert gets from Lewis, or it may come from the imagination with no prompting. Either way, facing fears is something every child eventually endures.

Diane deGroat handles this fairly well, although, as a mom, I question how Gilbert handles Lewis when the tables are turned. As long as parents remember the importance of reading with their children, they can address whether Gilbert does the right thing. For reference: Gilbert gets even with Lewis for scaring him.

As always with this series, the illustrations are attractively done. Some “spooky” scenes in the middle can be revealed to children as not so scary (i.e.: that tree doesn’t have faces, it has knots and broken-off branches).

This book is a decent pick for children ready to go to camp, and it may also be well-suited to Halloween time.


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The Summoning… by Kelley Armstrong

The Summoning
(Darkest Powers, Book 1)
by Kelley Armstrong

Published By: HarperCollinsPublishers
ISBN-13: 978-0061662690

Worth the Read
Reviewed by Christina Wantz Fixemer
on 07/24/2008

Things are looking up for Chloe Saunders. She’s in to the arts-focused high school she’s dreamed of attending. She’s making friends. And nothing weird has happened in a long time.

Until now. On what started out as a normal day, Chloe’s world is shattered. Terrifying ghosts come out of nowhere, and no one believes her. Chloe’s bizarre behavior lands her in a home for troubled teens. Surrounded by other misfits, she soon learns there’s more to everyone’s “troubles” than they realize. Learning the truth behind Lyle House could cost Chloe more than she imagines.

This novel is the first in a new series by bestselling author Kelley Armstrong, in which she brings her fascination with the paranormal to the Young Adult audience. THE SUMMONING blends popular elements of the genre with an interesting spin of its own.

Armstrong presents a well-defined subculture in an otherwise ordinary world. While the plot is a little thin at times, there’s a solid foundation for future installments. Most of the characters have enough depth to keep them interesting, although Chloe seemed like a watered-down version of what her character could be.

This novel offers promise for an enjoyable series. It had a few bumps, but it was fun enough for me to read in less than a day. THE SUMMONING isn’t the strongest book available in the genre, but it is fun and worth a read.

Click here to see the Chloe Saunders website.


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