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Groosham Grange (Groosham Grange Series #1)

( 14 )

Overview

Thirteen-year-old David Eliot was a disappointment to his parents. But to be sent to Groosham Grange? Hidden away on a lonely island, Groosham Grange is a school that is unknown to the outside world. Pupils forced to sign their names in blood. An English teacher held together entirely with bandages. A soccer ball made of . . . well, you'd rather not know. What is the chilling secret hidden behind the headmaster's door? And why are students disappearing in the middle of the night? Suddenly, David has a lot more to...

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Groosham Grange

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Overview

Thirteen-year-old David Eliot was a disappointment to his parents. But to be sent to Groosham Grange? Hidden away on a lonely island, Groosham Grange is a school that is unknown to the outside world. Pupils forced to sign their names in blood. An English teacher held together entirely with bandages. A soccer ball made of . . . well, you'd rather not know. What is the chilling secret hidden behind the headmaster's door? And why are students disappearing in the middle of the night? Suddenly, David has a lot more to worry about than pleasing his parents-like survival!

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Leah J. Sparks
Just before his thirteenth birthday, David Eliot is expelled from his private school and sent by his parents to Groosham Grange, a mysterious boarding school with an assistant headmaster who has no reflection in a mirror, a French teacher who disappears for a few days during every full moon, and a seemingly normal school matron who mixes a variety of not-so-normal potions. When David's plans for escape go awry, he learns the horrible truth behind Groosham Grange and is faced with his own dawning supernatural powers. In this latest novel from Horowitz, the author of the beloved Alex Ryder series, the characters are all stereotypical and cartoonish. Although younger readers might forgive the two-dimensional nature of David's parents, teachers, and friends and be drawn to the book by the author's popularity, older teens may balk at the casual violence throughout the book. For example, David's father accidentally stabs his wife with a six-inch carving knife and then calmly plucks the knife out of her chest to open a letter with it. This gratuitous violence between David's parents is unrelated to the plot and is jarring enough to make mature teen readers uneasy. David himself is drawn into the violence and casual disregard for others when he seeks revenge on his parents in the book's final scene. Although entertaining and imaginative, with occasional notes of Harry Potter (such as the letter out of the blue inviting David to Groosham Grange), Horowitz's book has a dark tone that may disappoint those hoping the young protagonist finds a happy ending. The author would have done better to use his undisputed talent and creativity to write a more appealing book with less gratuitous violence.Reviewer: Leah J. Sparks
School Library Journal

Gr 4-6

This dark, sinister tale, which reads like a cross between Lemony Snicket's books (HarperCollins) and R. L. Stine's "Goosebumps" series (Scholastic), involves maniacal parents, supernatural monsters, and some difficult choices for its characters. David Eliot's parents make the Dursleys from "Harry Potter" seem like a loving family. Not only are they mentally abusive, but they are also horrifyingly physically abusive (Mr. Eliot throws a knife at David and is nonplussed when it ends up in his wife's chest instead). After David is expelled from school, a mysterious letter arrives, offering him a place at a boarding school located on its own island off Norfolk, England. On the train trip to Groosham Grange, David meets a boy and girl who have also been sent away for not measuring up to standards. Once they arrive, they discover strange, otherworldly teachers and students who behave in a secretive manner, rising from their beds at midnight and disappearing without a trace. David and his friends must discover the secret of Groosham Grange before their 13th birthdays, when they will be forced to make a difficult decision that will change their lives forever. Though the author portrays punishments and moments of cruelty as absurd and unrealistic, these instances may disturb some readers. Still, the mysteries, elements of witchcraft and the supernatural, and occasional instances of humor may appeal to fans of (mostly) bloodless horror.-Debra Banna, Sharon Public Library, MA

Kirkus Reviews
Twelve-year-old David has exasperated his parents with his underachieving ways for the last time. As a lucky coincidence, they receive a letter inviting David to attend Groosham Grange just as he is expelled from another school. They're thrilled, especially since Groosham touts its reputation for straightening out malcontents like David. He and two others he meets on the train there are immediately suspicious of it, however. The school's pupils are eerily, vacantly adoring of the sinister old building and its creepy staff. The mystery deepens one night when David awakens to see them all trooping off into the library, where they vanish. Bursts of dark slapstick humor (such as David's dad accidentally stabbing his mom in the opening chapter) mix oddly with its light horror plot, and unsubtle foreshadowing stunts the suspense. Fans of Horowitz will form a natural readership for what looks to be the first in a new series, but whether they will find this as satisfying as his more carefully developed works is questionable. (Horror. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142414163
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/20/2009
  • Series: Groosham Grange Series , #1
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,435,820
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.78 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 17 of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book... But J.K. Rowling might have......

    Great book i enjoyed it very much, you should read the second one. I am however, very disappointed to find out that these books were published before the Harry Potter series, and they are VERY similar. Magic school on an island? Two friends a boy and a girl? There are other similarities too like in the 2nd one, he is in a competition to win the unholy grail that has lots of magical power ( goblet of fire?) VERY bad parents (the dursleys?) his rival (malfoy?) also there is the broomstick lessons, the classes, the school itself, I could continue but i think you get the point. So now that I found that out I am disappointed to learn that J.K. Rowling might have ( I hope not) copied from the groosham grange series. I also heard that Anthony Horowitz would not continue the series because of the Harry Potter books. I think he should continue the series and if J.K. Rowling or anyone else says that he copied, then anyone can come up with the data and say that he made it 1st!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2011

    the best book

    this book is a really good book. there is something weird about Groosham Grange and Jeffery, Jill, and David know it. for the reader they will know it to. but will they make it out in time or will something bad happen. it is hard to right a review because you have read the book and you want to tell about how good it is but you dont want to give away what happens. so you have to take alot of time to stop and think if i say this will it give away what happens in the book. luckaly i have had practise. i wont waste your time by talking about things other than the book now. so i will say about one of the only things i can say with out giving away any thing that happense. in this book you will want to pay atenchion to all of the different teachers (expesialy the school nurse because she will help you with the students) because if you can peice together some of the little details and some of your knolege you might be able to figure out this mystery befor the book tells you. this book is a funny book simetimes and i just wonder by reading this book... what on earth is wrong with Davids dad, for doing the things he does, and Davids mom, for still likeing Davids dad when he does this unbelievable stuff!?! thank you for reading this book and it is a grate choise to buy this book along with the second book in the series Retern to Groosham Grange The Unholy Grail. if you have ever read the Alex Rider series or the Gatekeepers series or the Dimond Brother Mysterys (all writen by Anthany Horowitz just like this book) and liked them then you will love this book series. i do and i know that. but please try it. and if you do buy it you wont be sorry that you bought it. i also just want to add thank you Anthony Horowitz for writing all these grate books i have read all most all of youf books and have loved all of them. you are my favorite auther and it was you who inspired me to want to be an auther when i grow up. i hope you plan on continuing writing books. i wont know what to do when you stop writing books. Thank you agien Anthony Horowitz. and thank you all of you who have read my comite and please by the series it is worth the money. thanks agien for reading. -Anthony Horowitz fan #1

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2006

    A groosame shcool

    Groosame Grange is a adventure story.It seems that every thing goes wrong when they get traped when Mr.Blood Bath catches them on his boat just in time in for the school holidays.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2012

    Good but a little strange

    How could davids mom be living after she got stabbed all the way to the handle by a carving knife!?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2012

    Wow! :D

    This book is SO good. I thought it would be kind of boring... but it was fantastic! Im 13 too. So it was a really good book and cant wait to read the second one! Couldnt put this down!

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    Posted December 29, 2009

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