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Room of Shadows

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  103 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Ever since his dad left, David Cray has had anger issues. So after he beats up school bully Jake Bragg, his mom grounds him in their creepy new house. Bored, David discovers a secret room with an old-fashioned desk, a chest, and a carving of a raven. Suddenly he's having strange dreams about the room and the house, and violence seems to follow him wherever he goes. Who is ...more
Hardcover, 239 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Albert Whitman Company
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3.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  103 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Ivonne Rovira
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: suspense lovers of all ages
Recommended to Ivonne by: NetGalley
Take one part Edgar Allen Poe, one part haunted house tale, one part new-kid-in-town story and a soupçon of Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls, and what you get is Ronald Kidd’s totally original middle-grade page-turner. Adults and kids alike will become engrossed in the story of David Cray, a 13-year-old boy who moves to Baltimore with his librarian mother when his father ditches the family for New York and a cutie named Gretchen. David’s new home, a ramshackle Victorian, turns out to have a secret ...more
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary
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 h
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this one, but with my not-uncommon caveat: what happened with the cat was really, really unnecessary. I am totally going to go re-read some of Poe's stories, though.
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
David Cray and his mom have just moved into a really creepy old house. They had to leave their old house because dad left and they could no longer afford it. Now they live downtown close to David's new school and his mom's work. David discovers a secret room in the house that had been blocked off. Once he enters the room he seems to be overcome with an energy and writes tons of scary stories. David is also dealing with some anger issues. When one of the school bullies tries to mess with him, Dav ...more
Margery Bayne
I'm disappointed.

The premise was intrigued. It had to do with Edgar Allan Poe, and was set in Baltimore, and the mother of the main character was an Enoch Pratt librarian. As someone who lives in Baltimore (and thus lives in Baltimore, is into Poe) and is an Enoch Pratt librarian, I was ready. Even more, I was drawn in by the first line, "It was year I discovered anger." Reading that, I thought, 'Wow, is this going to be a story that explores a young person dealing with anger in the aftermath o
thereadingowlvina (Elvina Ulrich)
***3.75 stars***

Edgar Allan Poe died a mysterious death in Baltimore on October 7, 1849, at age 40. His death sounds like his story. But what if Poe did not really die … his soul lingers and turns twisted … trapped in an old house … waiting to be unleashed? Following the separation of his parents, the 13 year old David Cray and his mother move to an old home in downtown. David soon uncovers a secret locked room with an ancient desk, some yellow aged papers, and a carving of a raven inside the ro
Young At Heart Reader
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: junior-fiction
The entire time I read this book I was constantly thinking of how much it reminded me of Goosebumps. Corny writing, a little simplistic with some spooky happenings and a twist. Granted, the twist here isn't as fun or original as some of Stine's, but it may grab some kids' attention.

While I could relate to David's situation, it didn't grab me at all. This book is odd in that it's being rushed and padded out at the same time. I could see this story being only 150 pages long or drawn out to 300 if
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, kids-lit
David has been having some anger issues since his dad abandoned him and his mom; he mvoes closer to puberty; and he has to move to a different school because mom can't afford the old neighborhood. After he beats the snot out of a kid trying to bully him, he gets grounded and he begins to explore the old house he and his mom live in. Soon weird things begin to happen involving Edgar Allen Poe. He and his new friend, Libby, begin to investigate the secret room in his house and the happenings.

Fun m
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
loved this edge of your seat book. For anyone who loves Edgar Allen Poe this is a must read. Since there is not much known on Poe's death, the author, Kidd, wrote a story about, "what if, this is how he died." The story revolves around a boy who has to move because his parents divorced and he is the new kid at the school. He has moved into the old off kilter house and feels he has unleashed some evil and violence seems to be following him.
Alison the Librarian
May 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: middle-grade
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Genuinely creepy. Great for that kid who has graduated from Goosebumps and wants something *really* scary. It's also a nice quick read that would appeal to reluctant readers!

I take issue with some of the themes toward the end where Libby is perhaps placed in a role of managing David's emotions...but that is unlikely to cross the radar for a kid reader. I'd still recommend it.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Fantasy, horror and historical fiction--all about Edgar Allen Poe. While the premise was good, and I liked the kid's voice at the beginning it was just too graphic for me to want to recommend to kids. Plus even though it was creepy, not sure this is the kind of horror a kid would really want to read....
Edgar Allan Poe's spirit languishes in a secret walled-off room in a house in Baltimore until an angry preteen inadvertently unleashes it upon the city to enact revenge plots that mirror (tamer versions of) famous Poe stories. While the premise is promising, it ultimately grows too bizarre to be scary, and the characters are too underdeveloped for the reader to truly care about what befalls them.
Jenni Frencham
Sep 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
There is a reader for this book somewhere, but I am not that person. The choppy writing style combined with the limited narrator means I didn't really sympathize with the main character at all, and the creep factor wasn't high enough for me to finish the book on creepiness alone.
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Not well-written with choppy transitions and a romance that blossoms out of nowhere. I felt nothing because the characters weren't developed enough for me to fear for them. The disturbing natures of the crimes in this book also seemed more suitable for a YA book than a MG book.
Oct 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Read this online, and weirdly it looks bigger as a physical book than the online version. I read this in less than an hour!
But still a cute read for October. Everyone needs a little mystery and Edgar Allen Poe in their lives.
Sep 28, 2017 rated it liked it
A little dark (possession by angry spirits, attempted murder, being buried alive) for my idea of a children's book, but overall an enjoyable little book. The ties to Edgar Allan Poe's history were interesting and well researched.
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Equal parts creepy, fantastical, and out there! Middle grade kids will like this because it skirts the horror genre without being too over the top. Also, it's a pretty quick read!
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Definitely creepier than I thought it would be, but I'd recommend this one.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
I did not like evil Edgar, but I can see that middle schoolers would probably enjoy it.
Kimberly Coller
Dec 21, 2017 rated it liked it
A quick, creepy read.
Sara Houser
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed room of shadows. It can be a fast read the chapters are good and short. Great middle grade book, Plus the ending I did not see coming so it was a surprise.
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-read
Quick read but scary
Aug 24, 2017 marked it as dnf
DNF, too young.
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good old classic horror movie.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A fun re-imagining of Edgar Allan Poe's mysterious final days mixed with a contemporary boy down on his luck. A little too fantastical for my taste, but I did enjoy being surprised by some really terrifying scenes.
rated it really liked it
Nov 14, 2017
rated it liked it
Dec 15, 2017
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Ronald Kidd is the author of thirteen novels for young readers, including the highly acclaimed “Night on Fire” and “Monkey Town: The Summer of the Scopes Trial.” His novels of adventure, comedy, mystery, and American history have received the Children's Choice Award, an Edgar Award nomination, and honors from the American Library Association, the International Reading Association, the Library of C ...more