If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Check out our February author interviews: 2/7-debut author Keenan Powell (Alaskan lawyer), 2/14-Leslie Wheeler (Rattlesnake Hill), 2/21-bestselling author Krista Davis, who unveils a new series, 2/28-Diane Vallere answers my questions about Pajama Frame. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our February Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 2/3-Saralyn Richard, 2/10-Kathryn Lane. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 2/17, and Kait Carson on 2/24.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


Monday, July 7, 2014

The Hottest Kids' Book of the Summer Is….

Librarians have a saying about books: For every book, a reader. For every reader, a book.

Our job is to help kids find that book – the book that makes him want to read more, the book that will keep her up past bedtime, reading with a flashlight under the covers.

This summer the Reading Under The Covers With A Flashlight Award goes to: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud!

I’ve been a fan of Stroud’s ever since his Bartimaeus trilogy. The Amulet of Samarkand was what Harry Potter would have been if Harry had a darker heart and a snarky, million-year-old genie. Stroud is a master at weaving thrills, chills, and humor.

His new book, The Screaming Staircase, is the first in the Lockwood and Company series. (A series! Hallelujah!)

No worries about the summer heat with this book. The Screaming Staircase will give a kid plenty of shivers – which is why I recommend it for older kids, fifth grade and up. The first chapters had me locking the doors and looking over my shoulder. The last chapters – Why does the staircase scream, Mrs. Randall? – are definitely PG-13.

What’s The Screaming Staircase about? Glad you asked. Here is the book talk (librarian speak for a synopsis/sales pitch presented to kids) for the chilliest book of the summer.

As you know, we have a Problem. It’s an epidemic. Not an epidemic like the measles, or the chicken pox, or the flu. Oh, no. Nothing that easy to fix.
The sun goes down, the ghosts come out.
We’ve got an epidemic of ghosts.

Now this would not be such a problem if these were your garden variety ghosts that hang around the graveyard moaning and sighing and rattling a few chains. The type that go pouf! with a flick of your iron tipped sword.

Oh, no. We’ve got the bad ones. The Specters. The Ghouls. The ones that want to harm the living, reaching out with their tattered fingers to give the Ghost Touch. And you know what happens if you get Ghost Touched. You turn blue and could die in two days if you don’t get to a hospital.

Of course the government is fighting it. Tons of companies have sprung up to fight the ghost epidemic. And this means lots of opportunities for kids like you. Of course! Kids are the only ones who can see ghosts. Humans lose the ability to see ghosts by the time they are about, oh, twenty or so. Because you can’t fight what you can’t see, right? So every night companies of children take to the streets along with their adult bosses to fight the ghosts.

Most companies are owned by adults, except for one small company called Lockwood and Company. It’s owned by a teenage boy named Anthony Lockwood. He has two employees: Lucy Carstairs, who is not only a savvy ghost fighter, she can also communicate with ghosts. A very dangerous gift, indeed. The team is rounded out by George Cubbins, who is the researcher. A very important job, researching the ghosts, because you can fight them better if you can understand who they used to be and what they might want. George is also in charge of making the sandwiches.

He’s not crazy about having to make the sandwiches.

And what’s the Screaming Staircase? It’s just the most haunted object in the most haunted house in all of England. Why has Lockwood and Company been hired to rid the staircase of ghosts when so many bigger companies have failed? That’s just one mystery among many in this terrific summer read.


KM Rockwood said...

It's so wonderful to see kids enthusiastic about reading, and librarians who steer them to the books they will love are invaluable.

I had one kid (high school) in my homeroom who, under the librarian's prodding, started reading the Twilight Saga. He was in his room (which he shared with two uncles) reading when one of them came in and saw what he was doing. The uncle said, "Who are you, and what have you done with my nephew? He doesn't read books!"

Gloria Alden said...

I get excited when I see kids enjoy reading. I had a lot of students who did, but one in particular was always reading big thick books. She was a walker, and before all the buses got there, instead of coming into the room with the earlier buses, she'd be sitting on the floor in the hall reading. She was a brilliant student and always finished her work or tests in advance so she could get back to her book. There was a period when many in my class were hooked on The Goosebumps series. We had a fifteen minute sustained silent reading time when everyone had to be reading - even me, although I'd peek sometimes to make sure they were. :-)

Sarah Henning said...

Oh, how I wish my son was old enough for this! We're just starting to read him chapter books, so we're obviously not there yet. I have it on my list for when he's bigger!

Shari Randall said...

Kathleen - it sounds like your nephew found "the" book!
Gloria - Oh, the Goosebumps series! Evergreen favorites - but those covers - ugh!
Sarah - some of my best memories revolve around reading out loud with my girls. How lucky you are to have that ahead of you.

Kara Cerise said...

How fun and spooky. George, the ghost researcher/sandwich maker, sounds like an interesting character. I may have to buy The Screaming Staircase for my niece (good excuse) and read it. I bet this book will eventually be made into a movie.

Shari Randall said...

Kara, I agree! This book is just begging to be made into a movie.

E. B. Davis said...

Wow--a supernatural YA. Sounds like a fun read, Shari. I read YA occasionally. They are great fun without unhappy endings--that's one difference between adult and YA books. It makes for great entertainment, but I wonder if we're setting kids up for an ideal world where everything works out fine. But then, maybe they need to escape too.