Review Blog

Nov 08 2015

The Haunted Book by Jack Heath

cover image

Scream bk 3. Scholastic Australia, 2015. ISBN 9781760152109
(Ages: 8+) Prepare to be frightened. This easy to read series, is reminiscent of the popular R.L. Stine books with its array of man eating plants and ghoulish characters. In this case an old book borrowed from the shelves of a holiday house is just the beginning. Definitely a winner for the younger Horror fiction aficionado, though they could be left wondering about borrowing strange books.
Dale and his parents, accompanied by his cousin Sarah, arrive at the ski lodge his mother has booked for a holiday. With his e-reader not working, Dale borrows an old book to read from the lounge shelves. The book seems to have a power of its own and added to the spooky nature of the house with its history of secret passages and basement and the strange man only Dale saw in the woods, the scene is set.
The book is the hand written diary of a previous resident Luke Greenway. The first line warns the reader 'Do not stop reading; my life depends on it.' and by reading on ' . . . you will find the secret of my immortality'. Strange things continue to happen, but only to Dale who sees slugs in his breakfast, hears strange noises, sees a ghost in the lake and seems to be followed around by the book.
As he reads on he learns more about the strange Mr Greenway and his experiments in the now boarded up secret passage way and basement. It is up to Sarah and the stranger, Mr Sop, to save Dale from Greenway and his mind altering chemical discovery Credence B.
This story with the 'police report' at the end filed by Dale's father, a detective, will give some readers an argument for e-readers being safer than books.
Sue Keane

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