Eerie Elementary

Fright Month Post #4: Let’s Get Scared!

In October, we’ll review books and series that ooze with delicious creepy crawlies, heebie geebies and chilly willies.

 errie elem cover


By Jack Chabert, Illustrated by Sam Ricks


Published by: Scholastic Inc. (June 24, 2014)

Available in: paperback, hardcover, Kindle, NOOK

At the time of this review there were two books in the Eerie Elementary series.


Safe thrills.

Eerie Elementary #1: The School is Alive! launches young readers into the scary story genre without being too scary. As alarming, truly frightening things happen, the copious, lively, cartoonish illustrations balance the fear with real humor. For the impressionable young, it’s a masterful mix of emotion, visuals and manageable text.

eerie elem ills 1The writing makes this a standout for the newly independent reader. Sentence structure is spare, with only four to seven words common. And yet the action is quick and inventive. And while the plots jets along, author Chabert employs a descriptive style often lacking in chapter books. We really see and feel the environment and sense of the sinister backdrop.

The book also blooms from simple, school-centered action to a classic hero in an epic struggle. Our young protagonist Sam saves the day, to the reader’s delight. eerie elem ills 2

Ricks’ illustrations are equally evocative, but with a comic twist. One truly haunting black and white illustration shows a tree branch silhouette that looks like a hand capable of reaching into the classroom. And yet the branches seem to curve and dance in the wind, making it appear just this side of frightening. A few pages later, a truly comic drawing has our hero riding a fire hose in what would otherwise be a grade A horror scene. Genius.

What do you say teachers, parents and writers? Use the comment below and let’s chat….