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Changing course I recently finished a Middle Grade Horror story and wanted to share that with you. Especially for my followers looking for books for their young sons, nephews, and cousins. This story has a male protagonist Justin and features a new twist on a beloved childhood game. Releasing just in time for Halloween this is a must pick up. I was lucky enough to receive an arc from Scholastic Press in exchange for an honest review.
The book starts a little over a year after Justin's mother has died and his friend Zee has recently reappeared. The story gets right into the creepiness expected from the title and cover as Justin and some other friends from the neighborhood gather at Zee's house for his birthday and start a game of hide and seek. Now slowly friends are disappear and strange marks are appearing on them. Justin and his friends soon learn you can't break the rules of Hide and Seek unless you want to be hunted down by The Seeker.
When the Seeker hunts them down the children find themselves trapped in a land called Nowhere that looks similar to their own world except their greatest fears come to life there.
Daka Hermon does a great job keeping this book fast paced and enjoyable with just enough scary elements to earn it's horror spot. She also mixes the perfect amount of humor to add a bit of levity. She rounds it out by with a good portrayal of grief and loss that will be relatable for some kids. Justin is reeling from his mother's death throughout and must confront his fears about relieving those moments. He's also dealing with panic attacks and anxiety and on top of that there's the worry that he and his sister will lose their house to bill collectors.
It's a mostly Black group of children and the story is set in small town Tennessee. Children who are about 9/10 years old and like creepy things will enjoy this one. Overall a very solid debut story.