Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (August 24, 2010)
Book summary: Timothy July has been having nightmares. About his brother, who is in a coma after being wounded in Iraq; about his best friend, Stuart, who is behaving like a jerk; about the old biology specimens in jars lining the walls of his classroom; and about Abigail, the new girl who seems to be a magnet for trouble. Or perhaps she is the cause.
Suddenly Timothy’s nightmares are coming true. His brother, his face decaying, approaches Timothy on the street. Stuart ends up in the hospital, terrified that monsters are stalking him. And the specimen jars are tormenting not only Timothy but his teacher as well.
What is the secret in Abigail’s past that is the key to these horrors? And can Timothy figure it out before his nightmares become a deadly reality?
My review: Sometimes horror stories don't get it right. They're either too graphically disgusting or not scary enough. Luckily, The Nightmarys doesn't do either. Poblocki's writing has just the right amount of tension and his scenes are deliciously sketched out so all the reader has to do is read. Our imaginations fill in the rest.
Timothy and Abigail are very believable and the friendship they form from being assignedpartners in a class project takes them on a wild ride through supernatural-tinged events. The monsters, especially the dragon, Timothy sees are scary enough and when he sees his injured brother was a goose bump worthy scene. I liked both main characters and Abigail's grandmother had a lot of spunk. The Nightmarys is a wonderfully creepy story and released just in time to enjoy this Halloween season.
Favorite excerpt: (From pages 11-12)
"Mr. Crane peered across the blank faces of his students, who waited in silence for him to continue. "Would someone please volunteer to be Abigail's partner? We've all got to have a partner."
Abigail seemed to shrink into her seat with embarrassment.
The class did not answer.
Timothy absentmindedly scratched at his ear. Mr. Crane suddenly exclaimed, "Timothy July! Good."
Surprised, Timothy managed a weak whisper. "But--."
Mr. Crane didn't seem to notice. "Abigail and Timothy," he said pointedly, writing their names down in his notebook.
Timothy turned around. The girl stared at him, her mouth open in shock."
Cover comment: Creepy and in keeping with the supernatural legend presented in the book.
Book source: Good Golly Miss Holly book tours