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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  4,449 ratings  ·  894 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
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 24th 2018 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Jada Williams It's not exactly a scary book, though it does appear that way. But not to worry if they're up for a few mini scary stories in the book along the way t…moreIt's not exactly a scary book, though it does appear that way. But not to worry if they're up for a few mini scary stories in the book along the way then they will be fine. (less)

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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,449 ratings  ·  894 reviews

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Korrina  (OwlCrate)
I was completely enthralled reading this. It felt like a perfect blend of Grimm’s Fairytales and Neil Gaiman stories.

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 t
Sep 10, 2018 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Cori Reed
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was so spooky! Loved it!
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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)
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
Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*
Very good middle-grade book and deserving of the 'horror' tag for genuinely creepy stuff while remaining age-appropriate. The story draws on Hansel & Gretel, One Thousand and One Nights (a.k.a. Arabian Nights), Tardis technology, and the Chinese restaurant scene from It (book or movie). The protagonist, Alex, a horror-loving boy and urban resident, is lured into an apartment and held captive by a witch who may dispose of him at any time. He becomes useful for his ability to tell scary stories, w ...more
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
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it

I really like how this author writes spooky middle grade. A series he has, The Thickety, is one I really enjoyed as well.

Great message in this one too, about how just because you're different or like things that aren't considered "normal" that there's nothing wrong with you. Emphasis on friendship and working through your problems either through introspection or by relying on others.

Also there's a magical cat which of course makes any story better. 😸
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
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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  ·  review of another edition
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,
Jess (freaks over books)
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Belles Middle Grade Library
I loved this book! Now I see what everyone has been talking about w/this author-brilliant!! This gave me all the Grimm fairytale vibes, & modern day Hansel & Gretel vibes. It was superb. Alex was such a great kid. The very fact that he worried so deeply about being a bad person b/c of the stories he wrote, to me proved how completely opposite of a bad person he was. The stories he read to the witch that he wrote were all so good too!! Some were quite creepy/scary! I loved the whole story, detail ...more
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Christi M
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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.
Oct 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good retelling/twist on the Hansel & Gretel witch fairytale. It definitely had its creepy moments. I would recommend it for middle schoolers who like spooky books or are just looking for a Halloween read right now.
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)
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
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
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, releases-2018
A super solid 4.5/5 stars

Damn okay so this book was adorable. There's a bit of a Hansel & Gretel twist/retelling which I got so excited about. The mystery of the witch's/apartment's power was actually really cool and well rolled out. Characters were developed along with the plot and a steady pace. I also would LOVE for some of the creepy stories told in the book to be put in like a novella as a companion or just for the author to make them full-length stories.
Sep 22, 2018 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Oct 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Inside the bag was a simple composition book. Yasmin had covered it with pictures of everything that Alex loved: monsters and aliens, creepy clowns and killer dolls, spooky old houses and abandoned amusement parks.
The only thing missing was witches. Alex was okay with that."

This book is for you if... you want to read something with light spooky vibes and a really good story.

Nightbooks was a perfectly balanced horror middle-grade book with the perfect scary level for the target age demographic
It was somehow sweet and creepy at the same time...???
I'm not sure what to rate this, but I read it in less then two days, which is saying something because I tend to be a slow reader. And I loved Lenore, the feline-sidekick with invisibility powers. She made the book in my opinion. 🐱

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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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