Scary School
Scary School

Series: Scary School Vol. 1   

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Annotation: Describes a year at Scary School, where werewolves, zombies, and humans mingle and the teachers range from dragons to vampires.
Catalog Number: #5262547
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition Date: 2011
Illustrator: Fischer, Scott M.,
Pages: xiii, 233 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-06-196092-6
ISBN 13: 978-0-06-196092-5
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2010015223
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Imagine if the teachers from Mike Thaler's Black Lagoon series lived up to their students' fears, and you will understand life at Scary School, a place where monsters and humans learn side by side. The book is narrated by snarky 11-year-old Derek the Ghost, who perished at Scary School long before the story starts. Linking his vignettes and character profiles is a loose narrative describing the school's preparation for the annual Ghoul Games. Derek makes frequent allusions to events in later chapters and even to unwritten books, and this teasing storytelling style enhances the humor, as Kent initially tosses aside odd events and then resolves them when least expected. The artwork, a mix of full-page drawings and spot sketches, has a comic flair and helps bring to life the strange, and occasionally human, characters. Sometimes gross and never frightening, this is a laugh-out-loud offering that should find a broad and appreciative audience among boys and girls alike.
Kirkus Reviews
Kent takes school integration to a new level with breezy tales of "learning, horror, and mayhem" at a grade school attended by a mix of humans and monsters. As narrated by a chem-class fatality, the school year kicks off with the near-total consumption of a fifth-grade class by its strict teacher, Dr. Dragonbreath, for not following Class Rule Number Five: "No student is allowed to read this sentence." Further reductions in the student body come thanks to a temperamental vampire teacher, the aptly named Principal Headcrusher, the peckish librarian/disciplinary officer Mrs. T (for Tyrannosaurus) and a variety of "accidents." By year's end, the survivors of these and such other hazards as the playground's "well of a thousand screams" have also had a gross and vivid lesson in anatomy from a half-zombie who shucks off his skin to show his organs in action, enjoyed delicious lunches prepared by a student of WereWolfgang Puck and are ready for a climactic round of Ghoul Games against a worldwide array of all-monster schools. Aside from being mostly monsters, the cast looks like a typical set of students and teachers in Fischer's frequent spot-art sketches. A dedicated web site offers further goofs and games, and the author repeatedly promises sequels. Familiar light fare for fans of the Wayside and Bailey School series, the Zack Files, Ghostville Elementary, etc., etc. (Funny horror. 8-11)
Publishers Weekly
Writing as 11-year-old Derek the Ghost, debut author Kent offers an episodic, meandering account of Scary School, "the first and only school to mix regular kids with Scary Kids and Scary teachers." Derek, whose unfinished business is to haunt the school, narrates this journey (which recalls Louis Sachar's Wayside School books in format), introducing a large cast of dinosaurs, monsters, and plain old humans. Grisly, gross-out humor is in ample supply, and the threat of death is never far ("After being eaten by Dr. Dragonbreath, every kid in his class learned a very important life lesson about following rules and an even more important lesson about not trusting dragons that wear suits"). In one chapter, after Miss Fang drains one student's blood, a long chain of blood transfusions follows, with students alternately dropping dead and being revived. The book moves so quickly from character to character that it's difficult to fully appreciate their eccentricities, and Derek's narrative delay tactics ("more about that in future books") get old. But reluctant readers with a taste for wicked humor should be entertained. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8-12. (July)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (7/1/11)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Word Count: 34,244
Reading Level: 6.1
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 6.1 / points: 6.0 / quiz: 146392 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.5 / points:9.0 / quiz:Q63320
Lexile: 960L

You think your school's scary?

Get a load of these teachers:

Ms. Fang, an 850-year-old vampire
Dr. Dragonbreath, who just might eat you before recess
Mr. Snakeskin—science class is so much more fun when it's taught by someone who's half zombie
Mrs. T—break the rules and spend your detention with a hungry Tyrannosaurus rex!


Gargoyles, goblins, and Frankenstein's monster on the loose
The world's most frighteningly delicious school lunch


The narrator's an eleven-year-old ghost!

Join Charles "New Kid" Nukid as he makes some very Scary friends—including Petunia, Johnny, and Peter the Wolf—and figures out that Scary School can be just as funny as it is spooky!

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