Room of Shadows

Room of Shadows

Book - 2017
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Angry at the changes in his life after his father leaves, including moving with his mother to a creepy old house in downtown Baltimore, eighth-grader David Cray unknowingly awakens Edgar Allen Poe's spirit, who feeds on David's rage to re-enact dreadful details of the nineteenth-century author's most famous stories.
Publisher: Chicago, Illinois : Albert Whitman & Company, 2017
ISBN: 9780807568057
Branch Call Number: FICTION KIDD
Characteristics: 238 pages ; 21 cm


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Sep 28, 2017

Room of Shadows was an entertaining middle-grade read with a unique premise. Almost everyone knows of Edgar Allen Poe’s works, and many know that his end was both abrupt and mysterious. It was a fittingly foggy end to a writer whose works continue to capture the imagination. Room of Shadows takes what we know of Poe’s death and then speculates a suitably horrific ending to it all.

The main character in Room of Shadows is a young boy in a familiar situation. David has come from a recently broken home where things seemed to have changed overnight. He’s been forced to move when his now one-income family could no longer stay in their house. Worst of all, there’s no one to really help him deal with everything. It’s a situation that is rife for anger, misunderstandings, and cries for help. And that’s exactly what we think we’re seeing in the beginning.

But even though this is a ‘kids book’, Ronald Kidd doesn’t try to baby the reader. He weaves in enough mystery to even keep adult readers on their toes. The situations he describes that David witnesses are scary to think about (which really surprised me). And I think a lot of readers will be able to identify with at least the realistic parts of David’s situation. And David’s companion is a plucky girl named Libby who insists on being there with him to help when she can. For David to have someone that actually believes him/believes in him is probably one of the greatest gifts he’s given in this novel.

Overall, Room of Shadows has a lot going for it. It’s a well-written, imaginative tale that will thrill kiddos new to this type of story. It ended up surprising me a little bit because I thought it was going to resolve in an entirely different way. Room of Shadows is a good beginning horror/thriller for younger readers.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for review consideration.


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