What's this? A famous children's author stalked and killed? A prominent publisher murdered by an egomaniacal author for being asked to make cuts? A reality TV show pitting teens against grown-ups- with only one survivor? From whose twisted mind can such gruesome stories unfold? Ah, yes. Anthony Horowitz. Young readers will smile in terrified pleasure as they read these harrowing tales by the international #1 bestselling author of the Alex Rider novels.
Gr 7 Up-These 12 stories are not for the squeamish as they include shudder-inducing scenes of burning flesh, dismembered bodies, electrocution, and death by squeezing in a massage chair. The terror strikes good and bad individuals equally, whether it's a teen whiz kid in "Bet Your Life," a do-gooder in "Plugged In," or a spoiled brat in "The Cobra." If there is a theme that runs through the anthology it's that you can't outsmart a haunting end and if you try, that may just be your downfall. The selections offer clever twists on pop-culture trends such as reality television and MP3 players. One story gives a nod to fellow horror writer Darren Shan. The book starts and ends with fictionalized arguments against publishing horror stories for children. Fans of the morbid will appreciate Horowitz's seemingly unending imagination for the horrific, but alert readers may clue in to some plot twists early on. Teens looking for gruesome tales won't be disappointed.-Shawna Sherman, Hayward Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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September 16, 2010
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