The humid summer weather is finally letting up here, bringing a welcome rush of cool air. There’s nothing quite like opening the windows and having that fresh, crisp air breeze through the house. Of course with the cooler weather comes back to school followed by all things Halloween. I was surprised to see Halloween décor hitting shelves in August, but now that we’re a couple of weeks from October, I don’t mind it so much. I really enjoyed the displays of scary stories I saw at the bookstore this week. There was something for everyone, from Stephen King’s newest release, The Institute, to middle grade scary stories and even Halloween and monster themed picture and board books for kiddos. Today I’ll be reviewing two new children’s picture books that have released just in time for scary story season.
“Does the phrase ‘the shining’ mean anything to you?” – Stephen King’s The Shining
In the spirit of October, Halloween, and all things scary, I decided it was a good time to read my second Stephen King novel, The Shining. This might surprise some of you, but I’ve never seen the movie version. I have seen clips of it over the years and can easily recognize Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance. I’ve been curious about the story for a long time but just recently added it to my TBR pile when I made it part of my 2018 book bucket list lineup. I read my first Stephen King book last year and decided October would be a good time to pick up another one.
I wanted something scary for Halloween…boy did I get my wish!
With the nights turning cool and the stores busting out the fall decorations, I thought it was a good time for a post about scary stories. Not only am I way overdue for a Friday Firsts post, but the scary season is almost upon us!
I have loved books from a young age. There were always books in our home growing up. We had story books and early readers, chapter books, teen books, and young adult books. I remember Frog and Toad, Nancy Drew, and The Babysitter’s Club. My mother loved to read and passed this trait down to me. She was always reading when I was growing up. Of course, her books were much thicker and much scarier looking. My mom is a huge fan of Stephen King. For a while there she had read everything he’d ever written, and perhaps that’s true today, though I think she has a little catching up to do. 😉
I wasn’t a fan of being scared when I was younger. Some kids love monster stories and creepy movies and look forward to Halloween because it’s a time to get scared. Not me. I didn’t like monsters or ghosts or creepy things. I remember a couple of creepy movies we watched as kids, but they were Disney movies, not Stephen King. I remember hearing titles like Misery and Thinner and wondering why in the world my mom would want to read something so scary. They must be good, I reasoned, if she kept reading them. I started thinking that maybe I wanted to try to read a scary book. Enter Mr. R.L. Stine.
“Mom once told me she sees a story in everything. A lopsided sand castle at high tide might look terrible but could have been built by a future architect. A small blob of jellyfish glistening in the sand might seem harmless but could be more dangerous than a vial of poison. A rainbow might be the brightest one you’ve ever seen but could be the result of a hurricane…” – The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street
I loved this book and the above passage sums up why. There is always more to a story than what we see on the surface. Any given circumstance could turn out to be the exact opposite of what it looks like. I feel that lesson resonates through these pages and drives home a great point about not judging circumstances or people by the way they initially appear.
This book has been on my radar for some time now, but alas, school books have dominated my reading list for the last couple of years. I thought October would be the perfect month to finally dive into this spooky story for young readers. What better night to stay up late finishing it than Halloween?!
Nightmares! didn’t disappoint! I know sometimes there is a lot of hype around a book because it has a celebrity author, but in this case, this book really is worth the read. I have personally enjoyed Jason Segel’s movies, and yes, I did initially hear about this book during an interview he did on a talk show, but that’s not why I like it. It really is a good story with a sound moral lesson for kids. Keep on Reading!