Welcome. Have a seat. Let us tell you a story. But be warned. Home Sweet Horror isn't just any tale. This is a Scary Tale.
Meet Liam Finn, who's just moved into a new home with his father and sister. But this old house that seems empty, isn't . . . Bloody Mary is here. Called back from the dead by a game, she's just dying to talk.
Preller (the Jigsaw Jones mysteries) serves up gasp-worthy scenes and chilling twists in this illustrated chapter book that launches the Scary Tales series. Suspense builds gradually: when eight-year-old Liam, his widowed father, and older sister, Kelly, arrive at their ominous-looking new home, he sees a flicker of light from an upstairs window; the next morning, he hears floorboards groaning, radiators hissing, and someone moaning. Preller raises the stakes as Liam, investigating a clanging noise in the basement, falls through a stair and feels "a thin, skeletal grip" on his dangling leg; later, Kelly and a friend attempt to summon Bloody Mary a bit too successfully. Sound effects reproduced in large type amplify Liam's fear, and Bruno's heavily inked, etching-like pictures intensify the story's spookiness. In contrast to the scary bits, Preller also gives the story a tender emotional undercurrent: the family is still aching from the death of the siblings' mother, who may still be looking out for her family. Just enough chills to keep burgeoning readers flipping pages. I Scream, You Scream pubs simultaneously. Ages 7 10.