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By Tommy Donbavandauthor

Author of the new comedy-horror series, Scream Street, reviews a selection of spooky reads

Tommy Donbavand

Monster Makers: Electrotaur and Slashermite by Ali Sparkes (Scholastic, £3.99 PB)

Monster Makers: Electrotaur and Slashermite by Ali Sparkes

My top choice is the first adventure in Ali Sparkes’ fast-paced Monster Makers series. Once I started reading, I just had to keep turning the pages, eager to get to the explosive finale. Brothers, Jack and Lewis, invent an imaginary world and set about drawing the Taurs that live there: bizarre monsters with strange names and incredible powers. However, when magical Welsh mead is spilled over the drawings, the boys’ lives are turned upside down as their Taurs spring to life!

Now Jack and Lewis have to hide Slashermite – a creature that shreds everything it touches – and Electrotaur – an electricity-guzzling giant – from both their mum and the police, while helping their aunt to save her home from a greedy land developer. Exciting stuff!

Suitable for: boys; girls; younger readers; reluctant readers; more able readers; reading aloud

Milrose Munce and the Den of Professional Help by Douglas Anthony Cooper (Quercus, £6.99 PB)

Milrose Munce and the Den of Professional Help by Douglas Anthony Cooper

I can honestly say that I haven’t read a book quite as unusual as this one for a very long time! Bored genius, Milrose Munce, thinks that he is the only person at school who can see and talk to the ghosts of former children – until he meets the fascinating and very much alive Arabella.

The flame of kindred spirit is quickly snuffed out when the pair are judged as needing Professional Help and confined to a secure, hidden dormitory to be cured by creepy therapist, Massimo Natica. But it isn’t long before a bizarre escape plan begins to hatch…

Suitable for: boys; girls; older readers; more able readers

The Wickit Chronicles: Witch Bell by Joan Lennon (Andersen, £4.99 PB)

The Wickit Chronicles: Witch Bell by Joan Lennon

The fourth title in Joan Lennon’s adventure-packed The Wickit Chronicles series sees a strange and unnamed, but friendly, traveller join orphan, Pip and his gargoyle, Perfect, at Wickit Abbey.

But, when a zealous church envoy, known as The Holy Hunter, arrives in the flooded Fens on his search for a wicked sinner, Pip’s loyalties are torn. Could the helpful traveller really be the man he’s after? And, when Pip is accused with summoning a demon and using the mythical Witch Bell will the traveller help Perfect to save him?

Suitable for: boys; girls; younger readers; more able readers; reading aloud

The Demon Assassin by Alan Gibbons (Orion, £6.99 HB)

The Demon Assassin by Alan Gibbons

Alan Gibbons paints a bleak picture of World War II London in the second part of the Hell’s Underground series. Fifteen year-old Paul Rector travels back in time to the blitz where he must help a police detective foil a fiendish assassination attempt on the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.

There’s more than the leader’s life at stake, however. If Churchill dies, London’s East End will fall under the control of Paul’s monstrous ancestor, intent on resurrecting the king of demon kind.

Suitable for mature readers – but definitely not for the faint of heart!

Suitable for: boys; girls; older readers; more able readers

Stone Goblins by David Melling (Hodder, £3.99 PB)

Stone Goblins by David Melling

Get ready to giggle as David Melling introduces us to another hilarious branch of the goblin family. Twin brothers, Saggypant and Seepage, are stone collectors – but not very bright. After they get themselves trapped beneath a particularly large boulder, Chief Cheesyfeet volunteers them to seek out the source of recent mysterious noises.

What they discover surprises everyone. A dragon’s tail has plunged down through the lake and into the tunnels below – and there may even be the rest of the dragon still attached to it! This might be a good time for the brothers to hide…

Suitable for: boys; girls; younger readers; reluctant readers; more able readers; reading aloud

Our reviewer

Tommy Donbavand is the author of a brand new series of comedy-horror novels for seven to nine year olds – Scream Street (Walker, £4.99 PB). Find out more at www.screamstreet.co.uk Previously, Tommy wrote five titles in the Too Ghoul For School series (Egmont, £4.99 PB), dozens of educational magazine articles and several books on the art of keeping easily bored children entertained. He is also responsible for five episodes of the hit CBBC series, Planet Cook.

An Awfully Beastly Business: Werewolf versus Dragon by The Beastly Boys (Simon & Schuster, £6.99 HB)

An Awfully Beastly Business: Werewolf versus Dragon by The Beastly Boys

Amazing animals abound in this perfectly beastly book packed with crazy creatures from the authors of the Yuck series. Can a werewolf fight a dragon and win? Only orphaned werewolf, Ulf, knows for sure.

Suitable for: boys; girls; younger readers; reluctant readers; more able readers; reading aloud

The Murrian by Robert Dodds (Andersen, £5.99 PB)

The Murrian by Robert Dodds

Cornish legends fuel Ben and Claire’s adventures as they spend the summer with their aunt in the unusual town of Antmouth. People are disappearing, and strangely behaved golfers are everywhere…

Suitable for: boys; girls; older readers; more able readers

Hazel’s Phantasmagoria by Leander Deeny (Quercus, £9.99 HB)

Hazel's Phantasmagoria by Leander Deeny

When Hazel is dumped on her wicked Aunt Eugenia, she’s certain that her holiday will be nothing but torture. But, there are some incredible new friends waiting there to make her holiday rather more interesting.

Suitable for: boys; girls; older readers; more able readers

Fright Night: The Shrieking Stones by Steve Rogers (Puffin, £4.99 PB)

Fright Night: The Shrieking Stones by Steve Rogers

Adam and Lana accompany their Uncle Larry to Ireland as he shoots the latest episode of his ghost-hunting TV show. There they meet a real spook who desperately needs their help.

Suitable for: boys; girls; younger readers; reluctant readers; more able readers; reading aloud

Nightmare Academy: Charlie’s Monsters by Dean Lorey (HarperCollins, £5.99 PB)

Nightmare Academy: Charlie's Monsters by Dean Lorey

When Charlie has nightmares, bad things happen. What he doesn’t know is that there are people ready to train him to fight back against the monsters that populate his dreams.

Suitable for: boys; girls; older readers; more able readers

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