Friday, December 23, 2016

Nightmares! The Lost Lullaby by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller

Authors: Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller
Publisher: Delacourte Books for Young Readers
Date of publication: September 2016

Charlie Laird has a very bad feeling.

1. There’s a NEW GIRL at school, and Charlie and his friends have DEFINITELY seen her before. 
2. He’s been hearing strange noises after dark, which is NEVER a good sign.
3. The nightmares are back, and they’re WEIRDER THAN EVER.

Not since he faced his fears has Charlie had so many bad dreams. Whenever he falls asleep, he finds himself in a Netherworld field, surrounded by a flock of CREEPY BLACK SHEEP.
They're not counting sheep. They refuse to jump. In fact, they don't do much at all. EVEN EERIER, THOUGH, is that it’s not Charlie’s nightmare. Somehow he’s trapped in someone else’s bad dream. And he’s pretty sure the twins ICK and INK are responsible.
Charlie and his friends thought they’d put the twins out of business, but it seems they didn’t quite finish the job. Now the WOOLLY NIGHTMARES are closing in, and INK has shown up at Cypress Creek Elementary! Charlie’s convinced that INK is up to NO GOOD. And if he’s right, it could be a very long time before anyone’s dreams are sweet again.

You know what they say, all good things must come to an end.  The Lost Lullaby is the last book in the "Nightmares!" trilogy.  I have loved this series from the first book and this one was no exception.  It opens shortly after the second book ends.  The lighthouse in Maine has been destroyed and the evil twins have been separated.  ICK is in nightmare realm and INK is in the waking world and attending the kids' school.  Charlie and his friends must once again band together to stop them from destroying the waking world.

I thought this was a great way to wrap up the series.  Everything was tied up very nicely with really no loose ends.  While I am sad to see it finished, I am satisfied with where all of the characters were in the end.  As in the first two books, there is a nice subtle lesson for the kiddos embedded in the story.  Things aren't always what they seem and you must look deeper to find out the true nature of things before making assumptions.  Also, sometimes certain things can be used for both good and bad.  There is also a lesson about scapegoats that I think some adults would do well to pay attention to as well.  The book ends with a "THE END?"  So maybe maybe it's not really over?

I highly recommend this series to any middle grade fiction reader. I often suggest it when I hear someone is looking for a good series for a kid.  I really hope that this writing team keeps writing.  I look forward to seeing what they can come up with next. 

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