Wednesday, June 28, 2017

2 in 1: Dark Star by R.T. Martin & Truth or Dare by K.R. Coleman

Today, I have reviews of two middle grade books from the "Midnight" series that came from Lerner publishing imprint, Darby Creek, earlier this year. The books published under this imprint are meant for reluctant or emerging readers from ages 7-18.   Each book in the series is written by a different author and takes place in the fictional town of Middleton.  They are all very quick reads coming in at around a hundred pages

Dark Star by R.T. Martin (April, 2017)

One of the things that I have been enjoying about these short stories is that they remind me of an episode you would see on "Goosebumps" or on "Are You Afraid of the Dark".  Spooky and creepy, but not so much that they would scare the pants off of a YA reader.  In Dark Star, a group of students head to The Bluffs for an extra credit field trip to observe a meteor shower. They figure out that something isn't quite right about the newest student who seems overly enthusiastic about the shower.   Years before an entire class disappeared without a trace adding to the tension of the night.

This was definitely pretty creepy in an "invasion of the body snatchers" type of way.  One by one, the students seem to be enamored with the shower and something seems to have taken over their body. They also keep walking into the woods and disappearing. I won't give away what is going on, but I was intrigued out enough to want to find out what happened. I think any reluctant or emerging YA reader will find it entertaining.  

Truth or Dare bu K.R. Colemen (January 2017)

In Truth or Dare, four teens head to the lake for a final camping trip before leaving town for college.  Around the campfire, one tells a story of some teens that disappeared years before while camping.  When they decide to play truth or dare, one of the girls ends up disappearing into the woods.  

I thought this one was much scarier than Dark Star.  Reading this at a 4th grade level, I could see how it might scare some readers.  An ax-wielding maniac would kick up the scare factor a notch in any book.  The ending was a little to neat for me but I still was entertained.  These are definitely books that I will be recommending to my kids' middle school librarian.  I think the kids would get a kick out of them.

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