Wednesday, June 26, 2013

MG Book Review and Giveaway - Tales From Lovecraft Middle School by Charles Gilman

Note: The book(s) written about in the following blog post were given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I must admit, with all of the reading I have done, I still have not gotten around to reading any H.P. Lovecraft (do not throw things at me!). However, if they are as fun and as imaginative as Charles Gilman's series Tales From Lovecraft Middle School, then it is high time I get my act together and read.

Last year, when I first received a copy of Professor Gargoyle to review, I was a bit skeptical. I thought to myself, This might be sute for kids, but I doubt I'll like it. I couldn't have been more wrong. The stories are fun, funny and creepy! As a massive Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, I love the whole idea of monsters and demons finding their way into school with only a few "knowing" students understanding why or how to defend against them.

About the Story

The summer before Robert Arthur goes to middle school his neighborhood got redistricted. Now he's headed off to Lovecraft Middle School while the rest of his friends are going to Franklin Middle School. There's nothing he can do about it, but at least his new school is state-of-the-art. The school is brand new, high tech and built with completely recycled materials. But as Robert begins his classes, creepy stuff starts happening, his science teacher is extra weird and, of course, the only kid he knows in Lovecraft is the kid that's been bullying him for years!

Through the two books I have read so far, Robert is balancing the job of being the "new kid" in school with his battle against all the things he discovers about his mysterious school.  He's relate-able and not unlike another children's book character I remember loving so much that went by the name Harry.

My Review

I'm trying not to give any spoilers away, which is why this post turning out to be is so short.  Here's the thing: I love these books. They're the types of books that are fun to read and you just want to talk to other people about. I think kids will love the story and it's accompanying art that brings the monsters vividly to life. In addition, the entire presentation of these books is fantastic - every book in the series comes with a lenticular cover that shows the transformation of the bad guy(s) in that book from human to demon. I challenge any parent to walk into a bookstore where these books are on display to see if their kid can walk by without reaction.

I highly recommend these books to middle aged kids that don't scare too easily. The scare factor isn't too high, but it has its creepy moments and it is full of monsters at school. I think that's fun, and the ending of book two definitely took me by surprise giving me goosebumps. But, let's face it, I'm terrified of E.T. I understand that every reader has their own fear threshold. I think the basic litmus test is the covers - if you can look at these creepy covers without suffering weeks of nightmares, then you are ready to read Professor Gargoyle and The Slither Sisters.


Are you ready to jump in?  If so, I have an Advanced Reader's Copy of Professor Gargoyle  that I am willing to part with as well as a copy of the lenticular that is typically a part of the cover of the hardcover released books.

To enter this giveaway, log into the rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. There are many ways to enter (and some ways can be done over and over again!). Good Luck!
Unfortunately, this giveaway is open to US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. That looks... really creepy. LOL

  2. Morgan DragonwillowJune 28, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    Oh you have my curiosity up now and I just have to get the books. I love Harry Potter and devoured every single one! I was very skeptical before reading them thinking they were just for kids, what was all the hullabaloo about, but I was wrong! They were/are for everyone as I am hoping these books will turn out to be as well. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I didn't start reading creepy books until I was in high school. My friends kept telling me what an awesome writer Stephen King was and I'd just say, "No thank you!" Until one day I finally caved. I started out with a collection of short stories that wasn't too scary. They were amazing. Then I went nuts and read THE SHINING. I could not read that book at night and I had to keep the book cover faced down on my nightstand. I'm not sure if it was the scariest thing I ever read, or if it was just the first real scary thing I read, but MAN that entire read was an adrenaline rush!!

  4. Well these books are MUCH shorter than the Harry Potter books and not as dense, but the fun is there, the crazy school is there and the little guy fighting the big bad is there. All I know is that when my husband said he had grabbed book two from BEA (he got the last one), I nearly jumped out of my skin with excitement to see what happened next at Lovecraft Middle School!

  5. I don't usually read many scary books, but I must admit this series has caught my interest. I keep hearing how good they are.

  6. On a scare level from Disney Princess to Stephen King, I'd say these books fall somewhere around GOOSEBUMPS by RL Stine. They are fun with creepy undertones!

  7. Morgan DragonwillowJuly 1, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Congratulations to the winner!