Sunday, January 19, 2014

Short and Scary. Hide and Seek is Perfect for Struggling Readers

I was intrigued by this book because it was written with the express goal of targeting upper middle grade readers (Grades 5-8) who struggle or have dyslexia. The text is written in mostly simple sentences. After reading it, I found that the novel didn't suffer much from this approach.

Title: Hide and Seek
Author: Catherine MacPhail
Length: 67 pages
Genre: Horror
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Content Appropriate For: Grades 5-8
Format: Digital ARC provided by the publisher and

Three adjectives that describe this book: dark, spooky, simple

I don't typically read horror novels because I scare easily. This one definitely did the trick. It was scary. Even though the book is super short, very straight-forward, and written with simple text, I found myself hooked by increasing fear. I also thought it was interesting that this novel is written from the (third person) perspective of a bully. That's an unusual approach, and I found it fascinating. It really made me wonder why people can be cruel to others. Of course, since this book is so short, the characters are all rather flat and the plot follows only one main storyline. Therefore, there isn't any delving into why the main character is cruel to others. That would have been a great element to add, though.

In an effort to interest middle school readers, the main character, Nicole, spends an awful lot of time trying to get the interest of Danny. We hear a lot about his dreamy eyes and how much she wants to hold his hand. This will probably limit the audience for the book to girls, unfortunately.

Overall Hide and Seek was sufficiently scary and does the job of grabbing older readers who need simpler text.
3 stars

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