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Just Beyond: The Scare School

2.80  ·  Rating details ·  174 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Middle grade supernatural horror series takes young readers Just Beyond the reality they know…Just Beyond their normal lives…Just Beyond the real world to an always surprising place of fantasy and fright.

Surviving middle school is hard enough but when Jess, Josh, and Marco encounter a strange and deadly creature wandering the halls of The Scare School, it leads them to a
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by KaBOOM!
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Average rating 2.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  174 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Katherine Moore
Ultimately this was a pretty confusing read, and that’s not good when it comes to middle-grade reading, as the basic storyline should be easy to follow. The story even started as though a chapter was missing. Given that the famed author is adept at stringing a yarn or two together, I kept thinking it was going to become crystal clear. I enjoyed the illustrations and some of the concepts involved but if the Scare School is going work in graphic novel form, the storylines have got to be WAY ...more
I received an ARC at BEA 2019. Recommended for ages 8+, this graphic novel from R.L. Stine hits that age level perfectly. Kids are fighting robots and solving mysteries in their school. Not much character development, but young reader's will easily follow the story and want to see the kids succeed and try to save the day from a devious headmaster.
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Classic R.L. Stine scary-goodness and a twist ending apired with art from my favorite artist team Kelly and Nichole Matthews aka Kicking Shoes, perfection! Big fan! Can't wait for the next volume! Must read!
Oct 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
What kind of nonsense was that... who narrates a graphic novel in 1st person while speech bubbles are going on...

We start with a group of characters. First person narration.

We start with another group of characters. First person narration.

I disliked the whole book. It was boring. It was not scary. I was not impressed. I'm not sure how kids will react, but it was not a natural flow and I had to flip back to the beginning a few times and reread. Not a good sign.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
R. L. Stine does not understand the structure, nuances or indeed the point of the graphic novel form.

I read this for our podcast Teenage Scream, which dissects the best (and worst) of 90s Teen Horror.
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
Solid three stars, about what I expected. R. L. Stine was a very important and influential writer for me as a kid, and I had the opportunity to meet him and hear him speak at the ALA conference this year, which is where I received the ARC for this graphic novel. It's creative, nostalgic, and fast-paced, with terrific artwork from Kelly and Nichole Matthews, but as usual with middle-grade books, was over way too quickly.

I wasn't terribly impressed with Stine's recent dip into teen horror with "A
Wayne McCoy
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
'Just Beyond: The Scare School' by R.L. Stine with art by Nichole Matthews and Kelly Matthews is a graphic novel for young readers with a spooky story. What could be more scary than school?

Scare School has a name that no sane parent would send their child. It's named after a mysterious headmaster. My review copy was missing the beginning of the story, so my story began with three kids in weird clothing being pursued down a hallway by scary creatures named droggs. They manage to escape into a
Imagine being in the same school but in two different worlds. One world is real, while the other is another dimension. A school where middle school kids are being taught at a kindergarten level. I think no one wants to be coloring for the rest of their lives, with crazy robots ready to keep you in check. I like the illustrations and the idea of the two different schools was very thought out. Having the school in the middle of nothing was truly creepy in every sense. The added bonus is huge robot ...more
I am reviewing this from an ARC.
The writing of this book was surprisingly weak, especially in the rushed and confusing resolution. The actual ending of the story made no sense and neither did the way that the main bad guy's story was resolved.
Before that, it was an interesting but unconvincing alternate-world story in which the reader never learns why anything is happening. This is important in a few cases, such as why the alternate-world school leader is trying to keep the students from being
Linda Naquin
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
The story was really confusing to follow, and even though its a GRAPHIC novel, meaning the story can SHOW us what's happening, a lot of times we would just move to the next page or panel, with no indication of the passage of time, and the current problem would suddenly have a solution out of nowhere. Like, where did that thing come from, how DID you fix that thing, we didn't get to SEE any of this. I get that this was a middle-grade book, and I have passed the book along to my 12yo, but I have a ...more
kiki thelibrarian
Just okay. Nothing special or especially scary about this title, though young readers may feel differently. Stilted dialogue and a confusing beginning made it hard to get into this title. The ending is definitely eerie.

The preview of the next Just Beyond title is terrible - hopefully, the editor and RL Stine will find a way to rewrite the overt and awkward narration/captioning of the panel actions before the final copy goes to print. Would only recommend this to young, die-hard RL Stine fans.

Nov 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Granted I haven't read any of his recent work, aside from MAN THING, but this feels like both familiar and new territory for Stine. It feels just like a Goosebumps book, which is great, but at the same time he's branching out a bit and exploring new ideas.

Sadly, it's not flawless. The ending is extremely unsatisfying and the bad guy is evil for no real reason other than you need a bad guy.

It's a fun enough read, just don't expect anything transcendent.
Deborah Embury
This is so messy. The art was pretty much the only aspect I liked about this story. The writing was poor and cliché, the plot felt like a Stine rip-off more than an original, and the characters were incredibly bland. I know I'm above the target age range, but I truly don't know how much a middle-grade reader would actually like this either. "Just Beyond" is weak storytelling and just not entertaining.
The art is fantastic. Clean lines and soft colors give it a 3-D quality without evoking "3-D" as a concept. The story starts out great, but the explanation for the events of the story lacks punch and it all fizzles out by the end, so that the reader isn't terribly upset by the final twist. I'm typically a fan of Stine's plots adapted to the comics format, but this was only so-so. I would read more, though, because the art is that good.
Stephanie Cooke
Dec 14, 2019 rated it liked it
I’m giving this three stars for the art - the story unfortunately doesn’t do much for the graphic novel medium. Stine approaches the story too much like he’d approach writing a regular novel and it doesn’t entirely work. Without the room to properly explain big, over-the-too ideas, the concept gets lost and makes for a difficult read.
Feb 04, 2020 rated it did not like it
I loved reading because of the Goosebumps series. I remember staying up late and reading every single book. I was super excited when I found out R.L. Stein wrote a graphic novel because I’m trying to find some good ones to recommend to the kids. Unfortunately, Scare School isn’t one I’d recommend. It was nothing like the R.L. Stein books I grew up with.
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A weird, entertaining story complimented by adorable art. I was honestly surprised to see such low ratings for this book and I wonder if actual middle-grade readers would have conflicting opinions about its quality. I am definitely looking forward to the sequel!
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
I didn't like the art, nor did I like the story. I don't think that middle-grade students will be scared or impressed by Just Beyond. The ending was classic RL Stine, which saved it from getting just one star.
Corrie Schuster
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just Beyond: The Scare School is Stine's first graphic novel. It was a very enjoyable read! The style is a little different than Stine's usual books, but it has the same feel to it. I also thought it had a very good, creepy ending.
Anna Karwowska
Oct 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
This was a big disappointment for me and I had to skip to the end because the story was kind of confusing and would skip around a lot.

Feels like it pulled a lot (plot, monster design, etc) from Stranger Things, so it may be appealing to that fanbase.
Katie Lawrence
Sep 20, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: graphic-novel
This felt incredibly disjointed and confusing. The first person narration was jarring to me and everything felt underdeveloped. I was a huge fan of Stine when I was a kid. Such a shame this was so disappointing.
This definitely reminded me of reading R.L.Stine as a pre-teen - same confusing plots and enjoyably weird twists. Though it isn't really my jam, I appreciate that middle-grade Stine fans will probably love it!

Roger Bailey
Sep 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
Stine is good for suspense and sometimes his content isn't the most original. This is a disgrace to his work and the graphic novel. He's looking to build a world here instead it's a muddled mess. I can't imagine the target middle school reader knowing what the hell is going on here.
Sep 08, 2019 rated it liked it
It’s not bad but it’s not great.

The art is passable. The plot is quick but never explains anything. The twist ending is typical Stine but I was hoping for more.

I didn’t read the preview of the next book but a quick glance made it look like it might be better than this one.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Bought this for my daughter who’s a big Goosebumps fan. The first in a new graphic novel series (Just Beyond) by R.L. Stine. Volume 2 is out in June. Enough twists and turns to keep a young horror fan happy, with great illustrations.
Sep 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
I'm personally excited about an increase in Horror graphic novels for a Middle Grade audience - I think there are eager readers for them. I don't think this is a great book, but I thought the story was interesting and really freaky. The art for me was pretty bleh though.
Jun 04, 2019 rated it liked it
I received an ARC at Book Expo.

Great graphic novel of an RL Stine book for it's intended age range.
Lisa Lemelin
Oct 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
I had high hopes that i would enjoy this way more, but the story was just long and boring
A confusing read.
RetRead Podcast met R.L. Stine and there's really not much else to say.

A full review of this graphic novel will be in an upcoming episode of RetRead Podcast because of course it is.
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Robert Lawrence Stine known as R. L. Stine and Jovial Bob Stine, is an American novelist and writer, well known for targeting younger audiences. Stine, who is often called the Stephen King of children's literature, is the author of dozens of popular horror fiction novellas, including the books in the Goosebumps, Rotten School, Mostly Ghostly, The Nightmare Room and Fear Street series.

R. L. Stine