If you’re looking for a bookish read with just the right touch of mystery and nightmarish chill, consider picking up this week’s read, Nightbooks, by J. A. White.

The Story: There’s nothing quite like a scary story, except when it’s happening to you. Alex loves classic horror films, but when a mysterious woman lures her into his apartment and reveals she is a witch who traps children inside, he realizes that he’s stuck inside what could turn into a nightmare. The witch Natacha is only keeping Alex and her other prisoner, Yasmin, alive because they do her bidding: Yasmin to keep her home and run her errands and do her dirty work, Alex to tell her the dark stories that keep her satiated. But what will happen when he runs out of spooky tales? Will he and Yasmin ever make it back home? And can Alex ever find the courage to face his biggest fears…about himself?

My Thoughts: This is a pretty straightforward read, with no incredibly massive twists. The story is as advertised: a spooky tale for middle grade readers. So what about it makes me encourage you to pick it up? Besides the genuine voice and writing style, the ending of the story brings up an interesting psychological point and Alex is an engaging hero in which I can find a little bit of myself with my desire to be a writer. Definitely an engaging story. Pick this up and buy it for the aspiring young writer in your life. The power of stories is definitely evident in this read.

Parental Advisories: This is a scary story, so mention of cannibalism, monsters, and spooky creatures of the night are made mention of. However, nothing is explicitly described in gory detail and this is tame, on the level of the cheesiest Goosebumps fare.

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