Kim's Reviews > Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow

Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow by Katy Towell
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's review
Apr 19, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: children-s-literature, fantasy, fiction, horror, reviewed-for-slj, young-adult-fiction
Read in April, 2011

From August 2011 SLJ:
Gr 4-6–Twelve years ago, a ferocious storm tore through the town of Widowsbury, unleashing evil forces. Now, the residents view any strangers with distrust. And so when Mr. Zoethout arrives in town on the storm’s anniversary, it is no surprise that his vending cart full of sweets is ignored by the local children. At Madame Gertrude’s School for Girls, Adelaide, Maggie, and Beatrice have their own problems: the new librarian, the first person to ever extend a hand in friendship to them, has disappeared. The headmistress, who leads her other students in ridiculing the outcasts, insists that the girls scared her off. Certainly, Adelaide’s lupine sense of hearing and smell raises questions, and Maggie’s physical strength is well beyond that of most typical adolescent girls. And Beatrice’s ability to commune with dead animals is disconcerting. But the girls, certain that Miss Delia has not left of her own accord, are determined to find her, aided by the son of the cook at the neighboring boys’ school. They realize that the sudden appearance of a carousel in the woods has something to do with the evil forces at work and that they must do something before the town is destroyed. Towell has a loyal following of teens and adults with her “Childrin R Skary” website, which features illustrations and short films. Sadly, her attempt to bring the same element of creepiness to a younger audience in text format falls flat. Characters and dialogue are wooden, and the plot grows increasingly convoluted. Students with a taste for dark fantasy are better directed to books by Neil Gaiman or to Elizabeth Cody Kimmel’s “Suddenly Supernatural” series (Little, Brown).–Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
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