Friday, February 3, 2012

MG Review - Scary School by Derek the Ghost

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 I've read lots of books with ghosts in them, but I've never read a book written by one. So when I got an email recently from Derek the Ghost, asking me to read the first book in his new series, I said yes. Who is going to say no to a ghost?!
Image copyright Derek the Ghost.
Scary School is the first in the series by the same name. It is Derek's tales of his school, the first of its kind. It is the first school to allow both human and monster children. Derek was simply Derek the student until a freak lab accident turned him into Derek the Ghost. Like all ghosts, Derek has unfinished business. He realizes that his unfinished business is to share his amazing school with you through his books.

Derek introduces us to to his former classmates and teachers. There is the vampiric Mrs. Fang, who only killed one child this year, making her the nicest and most popular teacher. Then there's Dr. Dragonsbreath, whose class rules will literally kill you. Then there is the founder of Scary School, Principal Headcrusher. While she is technically human, how many humans do you know with hands the size of boulders?
Dr. Dragonsbreath. 
There's also a student named Lindsey, which I loved. Her name was even spelled properly! She starts off as a real jerk, judging her classmates based solely on their looks. You'll have to read the book to find out if she learsn the error of her ways or just gets eaten by a really ugly monster.

If you are worried that Scary School doesn't sound like a very wholesome book, Derek has reassurances for you. "You're probably thinking this book isn't going to very wholeseome at all. Well, don't worry; just because a kid dies at Scary School, it doesn't mean that he or she will stay dead. As you will see, there's all sorts of ways a kid can come back from the dead and keep attending classes. In fact, losing your life is never an excuse for missing class. Plu,s through the act of dying, a dead student will ironically learn an important life lesson. It is such life lessons that will make Scary School probably the most wholesome book series to be published in the last twenty years."

I enjoyed reading about Scary School, but I would never want to attend it. I am too much of a wuss. Derek's writing is really comical. I found myself laughing out loud a bunch of times, and even stopped to read a passage or two to my husband. Derek does a great job of bringing his characters to life. Even the ones who are technically dead. The illustrations in the book are also awesome. The descriptions of the characters are vivid enough that they aren't needed, but I loved them. The only thing I didn't like about the book was the introduction of Derek's sister, Jacqueline. It is just the mom in me, and not anything wrong with the book. It just made me really sad to imagine an 8-year-old building a house for her big brother who is now a ghost. Like I said, this isn't a negative reflection of the book, just the idiosyncrasies of a crazy mommy. 

This would be a great book for a reluctant middle grader or as a read aloud with slightly younger kids. 
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  1. I toured Scary School and saw Ms Fan's Classroom, Locker Hallway,Nurse's Office & 3 School yards. I think my grandson would love this book.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  2. i found out that scary school is written by 11year old derek the ghost.Derek the Ghost communicates through the first-time ghost whisperer Derek Taylor Kent, who is a writer and performer in Los Angeles, California. my nephew would love this book :)

  3. Love all the illustrations from the website. Would love to add this to my classroom libary! :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    thebookishmama at gmail dot com

  4. I have learned that there will be more books, so it's a series. How fun! And that the "author" is 11 years old.

    lauren51990 at aol dot com

  5. something I learned about Scary School or Derek the Ghost is Derek is an eleven-year-old ghost who haunts the classrooms and hallways of Scary School, writing down all the spine-tingling often hilarious things that go on there.

  6. The principal's name is Principal Headcrusher. My son would LOVE this book!

    aniwilsonintx at hotmail dot com

  7. learned: Derek the Ghost communicates through the first-time ghost whisperer Derek Taylor Kent, who is a writer and performer in Los Angeles, California.
    deannalw47 AT hotmail DOT com

  8. It looks like a cute book. I learned there will be a series of these books!

  9. Very cute, written by an eleven year old ghost!!!


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