Monday, January 11, 2016

The Sleepwalker Tonic (Nightmares#2) by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller

Authors: Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Date of publication: September 2015

Charlie Laird has a dream life.
1) He has a weirdo stepmom who runs an herbarium. 
2) He lives in a purple mansion with a portal to the Netherworld.
3) Since they escaped from the Netherworld, he and his best friends have been sleeping like babies. 
But Charlie can’t shake the feeling that something strange is afoot. Charlotte’s herbarium used to be one of the busiest stores in Cypress Creek. Now her loyal following is heading to Orville Falls for their herbal potions.
Weirder, though, Orville Falls is suddenly filled with . . .zombies? At least, they sure look like the walking dead. Rumor has it that no one’s sleeping in Orville Falls. And Charlie knows what that means.
Things are getting freaky again.


The Sleepwalker Tonic is the sequel to Nightmares!.  I really enjoyed that book, so I was hoping the second would be just as good. The answer is yes.  This is a great series for any middle grade reader. While there is just enough suspense and "chills" to keep a lover of mysteries entertained, there isn't really anything too scary that would keep most kids away.  

After having conquered the Netherworld, Charlie seems to be living a quiet and dull life.  No one is trying to come out of the portal and people are having good dreams.  That is until he and his friends discover that a new shop has opened up in the town next door.  The shop keeper is supplying the townspeople with a magic sleep tonic that takes away all dreams.  There are two problems with this... it turns people into sleep walking zombies and it's destroying both the Netherworld and the Dreamworld.  Charlie and his friends must save the day once again.

As in the first book, there are some great lessons for kids to learn while being entertained. Charlie learns the difference between being fearless and being brave.  The importance of having hope even in dire circumstances is another lesson discovered by all of the characters.  And finally, the importance of the strength of family. 

The book does end with a sort of cliffhanger and some questions still left to answer.  I'm hoping the next book, The Lost Lullaby addresses those later in 2016. This is a series I am definitely recommending to my middle grade kids! 

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