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Author: Segel, Jason
[Bk. 1] Twelve-year-old Charlie and his friends must stop nightmares from taking over their town before it's too late.
Nightmares!, Book 1
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 169595
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 17.0 Quiz: 67889
Kirkus Reviews (07/15/14)
School Library Journal (09/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/12/14)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 09/01/2014 Gr 4–6—Eleven-year-old Charlie Laird is absolutely convinced that his stepmother Charlotte is a witch. She dresses funny, serves seriously strange food (kale pancakes), and runs a store called Hazel's Herbarium. Charlie's dad, little brother, and friends all like Charlotte and think Charlie's still grieving for his mom. He's also suffering from terrible nightmares, and living in Charlotte's crazy purple mansion isn't helping. The evil witch who stars in those nightmares threatens to follow the protagonist into the real world and kidnap his brother. Instead, he is tricked into the Nightmare World, peopled with monsters and madness: gorgons, goblins, crazy clowns, scary bunnies, tests filled with gibberish, and the monomaniacal President Fear (who also inhabits the real world as the truly terrifying Principal Stearns). But all is not what it seems, and some of the scariest creatures turn out to be sympathetic—or even allies. There are lessons to be learned about facing fears and uncovering the real enemy in this tale. Pals Alfie, Rocco, and Paige are interesting and fairly three-dimensional; most of the adults (with the exceptions of Fear/Stearns and Charlotte) are merely background. The fear is as much psychological as anything, and there's humor and a fairly high ick-factor, but relatively little violence. A good choice for elementary-aged scare-seekers.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/15/2014 When Charlie Laird’s mom died, he was, of course, devastated, and he’s devastated all over again when his dad marries Charlotte, the kooky herbalist with unruly red hair. After they all move to Charlotte’s family home—a spooky, purple mansion—Charlie begins having terrible nightmares starring a cauldron-stirring, red-haired witch, and he starts believing that his stepmom is not who she seems. While investigating her workroom in the tower of the house, he stumbles through a portal into the Netherworld, a creepy, fractured version of his own town that’s populated with elements from kids’ nightmares, including bunnies with toothy jaws for faces and a fedora-wearing gorgon. There he discovers who’s really behind his bad dreams as well as some secrets about not only Charlotte but also his own mother. Segel (of The Muppets movie) and Miller build an entertaining, cartoony world full of scary (but not too scary) monsters, silly jokes, plucky kid heroes, and a cinematic plot that trundles onward to a satisfying conclusion, with a promise of adventures to come. Final illustrations not seen. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.