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4.01  ·  Rating details ·  2,501 ratings  ·  557 reviews
A boy is imprisoned by a witch and must tell her a new scary story each night to stay alive. This thrilling contemporary fantasy from J. A. White, the acclaimed author of the Thickety series, brings to life the magic and craft of storytelling.

Alex’s original hair-raising tales are the only thing keeping the witch Natacha happy, but soon he’ll run out of pages to read from
ebook, 320 pages
Published July 24th 2018 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Colt About Goosebumps level, I'd say. Scary stories to tell in the dark is scarier.

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Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,501 ratings  ·  557 reviews

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Korrina  (OwlCrate)
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was completely enthralled reading this. It felt like a perfect blend of Grimm’s Fairytales and Neil Gaiman stories.
Richard Cardenas

This was such an awesome and fun read and I want a copy for my shelf now. I'm pretty sure this is a contender for my favorite book of 2019. It was equal parts spooky and whimsical, like Goosebumps meets The Spiderwick Chronicles so you know I LOVED this. I felt a deep connection to Alex because we're basically the same person, it was almost eerie reading about him because I felt like the author was writing about my as a young kid. I can't wait to see the Netflix movie when it
Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)

Thank you Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen books for sending me a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

“After his family had finally fallen asleep, Alex slung the bagpack over his shoulder and snuck out of the apartment..”

The moment I read the synopsis on Goodreads I knew it was the kind of book for me. The book might have been written for a middle grade audience, but I absolutely loved it! Witches, magic and scary stories all packed into one little book.

I didn’t expect
Sep 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
This was an interesting, quick read! I know it's middle grade, but I really wish it was written as a YA novel so it was scarier. However, I understand it was written for children so it can't be too scary. I also loved that it involved classic Hansel and Gretel vibes! AND there is an amazing cat sidekick whom I loved! A great read overall, and I will be saving this to read to my children someday.
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I listened to the Audiobook book with my son driving to and from school every day.
It had just enough creepy factor to keep him interested, but not scary enough to cause nightmares.
It was a cross between 1001 nights (Arabian Nights), Grimm's Fairy tales and some of the children's stories written by Neil Gaiman.

Rated by my 12 year old. He said, "I would have added another star if it was more scary. I was fooled by the description." Oh my little friend, welcome to Mommy's world of disappointment i
Cori Reed
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was so spooky! Loved it!
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
this was such an interesting read! loved the idea behind the novel since it involved witches and books. i’m glad i read the book and if you’d like a short read you should check it out!! (audiobook on youtube)
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For the last few months I wasn't really interested in middle grade but boy oh boy did this book change that. I went it with little to no expectations and story pulled me in from the first page.
I really liked our main character, Alex, and his friendship with Yasmin was adorable but I've gotta be honest and say that Lenore the magic cat was my favorite of them all.
My favorite part were short horror stories that Alex read and even if they were not really scary I enjoyed them and they set up a goo
La La
Even though this was much more suited to Middle Grade age readers than the author's Thickety books, because there was no graphic violence, it had other problems. The good parts were very very good, but the dry boring parts were longer than they had to be. It felt almost like filler, which to me makes no sense in MG because younger kids still like books that don't take forever to read. The boring segment in the beginning worries me a bit because most MG aged readers will drop a book like a hot po ...more
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nightbooks follows Alex, a young boy who, while sneaking out of his apartment at night to destroy his books full of scary stories, or his Nightbooks, in his backpack, is enticed by a witch into another apartment, and essentially kidnapped. She tells him that she wants him to tell her a scary story each night and he needs to write new stories all day every day.

Alex knows there's a slight difference between story scary and real scary, and is struggling with writer's block since coming into th
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
A book about the power of story.
Alex decides one night to destroy all his writing notebooks. He takes the elevator to the basement so he can drop the books into the incinerator. Unfortunately, the elevator stops at the 4th floor, and he hears a movie playing, The Night of the Living Dead, his favourite. He enters the apartment from where he can hear the movie, and becomes trapped there by Natasha, a woman who identifies herself as a witch. Alex quickly meets the other child (Yasmine and Lenore,
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

this wasn't bad. but even though i do read and enjoy a lot of middle-grade books, this one definitely seems like it is intended strictly for that audience.

to me, it just seemed kind of silly. the witch wasn't scary, and in the few parts that might have been leaning towards maybe being scary she would react to something or do something that just crumbled the walls of realism.

i did enjoy a couple of alex's stories as some of them had really interesting premises. and honestly sometimes i
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very clever take on 1001 Nights (and another fairy tale...but no spoilers...). Spooky and unsettling for the middle grade set. My daughter listened to part with me and made me turn it off after one of the short stories interspersed throughout the main tale. She was a little freaked out by the concept. I also liked the way that writing tips were spread throughout the narrative. I can never resist a good story about stories!
Jenni Frencham
Alex becomes trapped in a magical apartment in his building, and in order to stay alive, he has to tell the witch who captured him a scary story every night. This middle grade retelling of Arabian Nights with a horror twist is appropriate for the target age group, and Alex's short stories will easily capture the attention of many readers.
Jess (freaks over books)
It has been a long time since I read a middle book that I enjoyed as much as I enjoyed this book. This book has witches, magic, a wonderful kitty familiar, creepy crawlies, monstrous unicorns, fairy tales, scary stories, friendship, candy houses, it has everything. It gives me Graveyard Book vibes and I love it, I want more middle grade horror novels.
Christi M
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Spooky middle grade stories are one of my favorite genres to read. They have a creep factor, but not too much. Plus, they typically have a happy ending. I say ‘typically’ because I’ve run across a Goosebumps story or two that didn’t. Nightbooks has won or been short-listed for several awards and honors, but what excites me most at this moment is that this particular book is also being adapted for Netflix. Woot!

One night Alex sneaks out of his apartment. He is looking to throw out his Ni
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Actual rating: 2.5

A retelling of both Hansel and Gretel and 1001 Nights, the love for fairytales shines through in every aspect of this book. And I really loved that about it. But in other ways, the book fell flat for me. I thought it lacked suspense and an engaging plot, and so I didn't end up feeling invested in the story.
Joshua Whiting
Alex has an obsession with all things creepy, and he spends his nights writing scary stories. One night he decides he’s tired of being a “weirdo,” so he sneaks out of his family’s apartment with his story notebooks and heads to the basement to burn them in the building’s boiler. The elevator takes him to a different floor instead, where he is illogically lured into a strange apartment and soon finds himself trapped in an actual scary story, enslaved by an actual witch. It turns out the witch nee ...more
Carolina  (fictionologyst)
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Alex has been addicted to scary stories since he was little, when boy his age are into sports he’s busy scribbling into his notebook making up another scary story, he calls it nightbooks. He didn’t know that the stories could actually save his life, until one fateful night, when he’s captured by a witch who has been living in the same apartment building as he is. The witch love scary stories, and so he fed her his stories every night, in hope to delay his doomed day while figuring out a way to g ...more
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Interest Level: 5-8; Reading Level: 6.4

How cool would it be to live in an apartment that had a magical library that had thousands and thousands of books? Dream come true, right? Wrong! Not this apartment and not this library! Alex sneaks out one night to destroy a book of his writings that he loves so much, but on the way he gets tricked to go into an apartment in his building, the apartment of a witch named Natacha. There is one other child there, Yasmin, who tells him there is no escape from t
May 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I let the child in me speak, she would tell you this book is highly enjoyable, but as always the so very annoying adult part in me can't stay out of it!

Alex loves scary things, stories, movies, events, everything spooky! He also likes to write horror stories. He thinks he's diffrent, like all of us, and it makes him unique. But Alex doesn't know that, because at school, he's the freak or the weirdo who instead of trophies and stars posters has horror figurines, zombies, vampires...
The whole t
I was drawn to this book by the stunning cover art, and the story inside completely captivated me. This was a perfectly creepy read for the fall season!

Alex is a boy with a talent for writing dark and disturbing tales. This talent comes in handy when he is imprisoned by a powerful witch who demands a new scary story every night. Fortunately for Alex, he is not alone in his predicament. A girl named Yasmin is also being held captive and forced to work for the witch. Alex desperately wants to find
Sep 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I liked Alex's individual stories themselves a lot better than the overall story - they were just the right amount of creepy. But his struggles with the writing process were spot on. The overall story was cute and fairytale-esque.
Marta Barrales
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
By now I’m truly convinced that middle grade books are the best. Truth is, I’ve been having a very difficult time finding time to read these days. With so much work to do and classes to attend and things to do around my house, I can hardly find a moment to just sit and read. Let alone motivation.

So, I’ll admit I wasn’t very excited to start Nightbooks. But it turns out that this mix of little motivation, low expectations and little time was a good thing in the end. At least in this case, because
Azelyn Klein
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
“‘...we were kind,’ Alex said. ‘And kindness beats cruelty every time.’”

I’m pretty sure middle grade books have a better balance of male to female authors than young adult books. So when I opened up Nightbooks to find it told from the perspective of a young boy—let’s say he’s twelve; I think he’s twelve—it felt good, especially since I’m writing a book from a twelve-year-old male perspective.

Set in the present day, this book is a tale of friendship and enemies, fear and courage, magic and story
Hazel West
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gah! J. A. White is definitely one of my absolute favorite middle grade authors. I loved his Thickety series, and Nightbooks did not disappoint either. It's quite a bit different than his other series, but just as deliciously dark. I loved the nods to 1,001 Nights and Hansel and Gretel in this one.

Alex is an extremely likable (and for me relatable) character. A kid who loves and writes horror stories so everyone things he's weird and his teachers think he's on course to being a psychopath or so
Jessica F
A fast-paced, spine-tingling fairy tale retelling of Hansel and Gretel! These days relying on kids to wander in the woods isn't going to cut it. Witches have found new stomping grounds in the most unlikely of places... as Alex discovers to his cost when he wanders through his apartment at night and gets trapped inside 4E. Alex eventually makes a friend in his fellow prisoner Yasmin. When Alex's nightbooks of scary stories are accidentally destroyed and his usefulness nearly expired, Alex and Yas ...more
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I felt this was written by a teacher from the very beginning and was right!
I really enjoyed the format of this book with its pairing of the main action with the stories from the Nightbooks. I thought the characters were believable as kids (teachers do this well) and likeable.
I also like that knowing it’s middle grade fiction allows me to enjoy some of the more fantastical or fairy tale aspects. It’s hard to explain without spoiling but it’s like allowing yourself to be a kid again. Sort of lik
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3,5/5. A bit too long for this kind of story. Nonetheless a good concept, bringing short stories into a story, bringing the horror genre to middle-grade reader, mixing style between the Arabian nights and Hansel and Gretel and also provide a good incitations to writing. The horror stories were for me no so original, being an horror fan for almost two decades, but I would be curious to have some feedback for younger reader about it. I would have edited it a bit better, maybe 50 pages shorter and ...more
Sam (she_who_reads_)
This was so good! Proper scary and gruesome in places- it gave me flashbacks to my Goosebumps-loving childhood! I found myself getting quite nervous for the main characters towards the end as the tension really ramped up. I even said, out loud, alone in my room, “oh gross! Run!” I would definitely recommend this one for anyone who enjoys reading or writing scary stories, or anyone who loves old school fairytales!
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Floral Tea Cups B...: "Nightbooks" by J.A. White 1 1 Oct 03, 2019 08:47PM  

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J. A. White lives in New Jersey with his wife, three sons, and a hamster named Ophelia that doesn’t like him very much. When he’s not making up stories, he teaches a bunch of kids how to make up stories (along with math and science and other important stuff). He wishes dragons were real because it would be a much cooler way to get to work.

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“And now I realize---so what if I write scary stories? I might hurt someone with nouns and adjectives, but I would never hurt someone for real.” 2 likes
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