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Deadtime Stories: Little Magic Shop of Horrors

Deadtime Stories: Little Magic Shop of Horrors

4.9 7
by Annette Cascone, Gina Cascone

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The Deadtime Stories by "Twisted Sisters" Annette and Gina Cascone—they'll scare you silly and give you giggles at the same time.

Peter Newman really wants a twenty-one-speed mountain bike. That's the grand prize for his school's talent competition. And Peter's pretty sure he can win it. All he needs is a talent….

When he and his best


The Deadtime Stories by "Twisted Sisters" Annette and Gina Cascone—they'll scare you silly and give you giggles at the same time.

Peter Newman really wants a twenty-one-speed mountain bike. That's the grand prize for his school's talent competition. And Peter's pretty sure he can win it. All he needs is a talent….

When he and his best friend Bo see an ad for the Little Magic Shop of Horrors, they rush right over. For only $9.95, Peter buys a magic kit and becomes "Peter the Great." Now he can do tricks even Houdini couldn't perform!

The only problem is Peter can't undo the tricks. But that doesn't bother him too much. Until he wins the talent contest—by taking off Bo's head! Will Peter be able to save his headless best friend?

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Deadtime tales are magic for kids.”  —Huntsville, Alabama Times

Children's Literature - Nancy Garhan Attebury
When Peter and his friend, Bo, decide to enter and win the school's talent show, they bite off a bit more than they can handle. Their topic, presenting magic tricks, proves to be most unusual. They purchase magic products in an obscure shop owned by a scary proprietor. Practicing at Peter's proves interesting as all kinds of weird things happen with their props. Fortunately, Peter's Grandma Grussler, who is caring for him for a week, claims to have been a magician's assistant and lends the boys a hand. Things still get out of hand, and they turn Grandma's cat into a real lion. A simultaneous story line has the school janitor doling out punishments for Peter's and Bo's infractions at school—most of which include making fun of the other students trying out for the talent show. The janitor calls the boys in for Saturday detention, and the boys are convinced the janitor is actually going to kill them. However, a twist reveals why the janitor really has them come in and it leaves the readers wondering what will happen in the next book in the series. This book will thrill middle grade readers who like the bizarre, but some students may be put off by the threats and talk of killing others. Regardless, this is book from the "Deadtime Stories" series and others in the series are wildly popular. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury

Product Details

Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
Deadtime Stories Series , #5
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File size:
937 KB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Little Magic Shop of Horrors

By Annette Cascone, Gina Cascone

Tom Doherty Associates

Copyright © 2012 Annette Cascone and Gina Cascone
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-9297-8


Peter Newman twisted in his seat, squirming in unbearable pain. He held his hands tightly over his ears. Still, he couldn't escape the bloodcurdling sound.

Peter's best friend, Bo Wilson, tugged on his arm. "What does that sound like to you?" he asked over the hideous wailing.

Peter shrugged helplessly. He couldn't begin to describe the horrible noise.

Bo answered his own question. "It sounds like cats being slaughtered."

That was exactly what it sounded like! Murder. Pure, bloody murder.

Why isn't anybody putting a stop to this? Peter thought. It's cruel and inhuman to allow this to continue.

But continue it did.

More than two dozen people, Peter and Bo included, just sat there as Gerald MacDougal worked his instrument of torture.

"Bagpipes." Peter groaned. That was Gerald's evil instrument. "What kind of dweeb plays the bagpipes?" he went on, slumping down in his seat at the back of the school auditorium.

Bo laughed. "He's the worst act yet," he said in Peter's ear.

Peter had to agree. In the half hour since the school day had ended, he and Bo had seen some pretty awful acts, but Gerald MacDougal's was definitely the worst.

"The kid's got guts," Peter told Bo. "No talent, but a whole lot of guts."

"Too bad for him this is supposed to be a talent competition." Bo laughed even harder.

It was the audition for the school talent show. The show was being held at the end of the week, and twelve acts would be chosen. But judging from what he'd seen so far, Peter didn't think it was going to be much of a competition.

Bo was enjoying it, though. He was having a great time making fun of all the kids up on stage. He'd even brought along snacks.

As Gerald gave one last agonizing yowl on the bagpipes, Bo tore into the wrapper of another candy bar. He broke it in two, handing half to Peter. Then he tossed the empty wrapper over his shoulder.

"Don't throw the garbage on the floor," Peter scolded him. "We'll get into trouble. We're not even supposed to be eating in here."

"Nobody's paying attention to us," Bo said as the teachers sitting in the front row politely applauded Gerald's awful performance. "Who cares about —"

"What's this?" A deep voice cut off Bo's words.

Bo was wrong. Somebody was paying attention to them.

Peter and Bo froze in their seats, eyes straight ahead. Neither of them had the courage to turn around and face the voice.

The discarded candy wrapper dropped from above into Bo's lap. Still, neither Peter nor Bo moved.

"No eating in the auditorium," the voice said.

Peter glanced over his shoulder. The school janitor loomed over them.

Janitor Bob was more than six feet tall and was built like a professional football player. But for someone so big, he moved as silently as a shadow. He was always appearing out of nowhere to catch kids doing what they shouldn't be doing. This time he'd caught the two of them.

"That's strike two," Janitor Bob said, holding up two enormous gloved fingers.

"Strike two?" Bo repeated, practically jumping out of his seat. "How can that be strike two?" he protested. "We don't even have a strike one."

"Oh really?" Janitor Bob glared down at them. "Who drew the lovely picture of Mrs. Dingleman on the mirror in the boys' room last week?"

Mrs. Dingleman was the principal. And the picture in the boys' room wasn't "lovely" at all. It was actually pretty rude.

Peter and Bo exchanged guilty looks. But neither said a word.

"One more strike and you're out," Janitor Bob whispered menacingly. Then he turned around and headed through the back doors of the auditorium as silently as he'd entered.

"Oh man." Bo sighed. "No way Psycho Bob knows we drew that picture."

"Yes, way!" Peter shot back. "Didn't you hear what he said?"

Every kid in school was scared of Janitor Bob. Because every kid in the school knew that he had superhuman strength and a super explosive temper. Peter had heard that Janitor Bob once lifted an entire school bus by himself, just to move it out of his parking spot. Even if the story wasn't true, Janitor Bob was not somebody Peter wanted to mess with.

"What do you suppose happens when you get three strikes?" Peter asked nervously.

"I don't know," Bo answered. "Nobody's ever gotten three strikes before. At least nobody who's lived to tell about it. For all I know, he may just kill you and bury you in that basement office of his."

"Don't drop any more wrappers," Peter ordered Bo. "There's no way I want to get three strikes."

"Okay, okay," Bo said. "Now shut up. We're missing the whole show."

The next act was almost over. It was two girls from Peter's class dancing around the stage in frilly tutus. They looked pretty silly. But they'd finished their dance before Peter and Bo could start making fun of them.

"Look who's up next." Bo nudged Peter with his elbow.

"Oh, puke!" Peter groaned. "It's Mary-Margaret Mahoney." He spit out the name like he was spitting out poison. "I hate that girl."

"Me too," Bo said. "She thinks she's such hot stuff."

The two of them cringed as Mary-Margaret Mahoney strutted onto the stage in a bright red, rhinestone-studded cowgirl costume, carrying a baton.

"Oh, brother," Peter said. "She's going to twirl her stupid baton again."

"Of course she is," Bo told him. "It's the only talent she's got."

Peter laughed. "So what's she going to be when she grows up — a professional baton twirler?"

"No," Bo answered. "She's going to be Miss America. Remember? That's what she always tells everybody."

"Not with that face, she isn't," Peter said. "I'd be surprised if she could win a dog show."

"For real," Bo agreed. "But she's been bragging all week about how she's going to win the school talent show. She just might do it, too. It's not like she has any competition. Besides, she really does know how to twirl that baton. She's even won state competitions."

"I know, I know." Peter rolled his eyes. "Every time she gets her stupid picture in the paper, Mrs. Dingleman puts it up on the bulletin board. Then Mary-Margaret walks around like she really is Miss America. If she wins this show, she'll be totally obnoxious about it."

"Well, she's going to win," Bo said. "Look." He pointed toward the stage.

Mary-Margaret was standing at the foot of the stage. She handed her baton to her mother, who'd been whispering something to the teachers who were judging. Peter watched as Mrs. Dingleman, the head judge, nodded at Mrs. Mahoney.

A second later, Mrs. Mahoney lit the baton on fire and handed it back to Mary-Margaret.

"A fire baton!" Peter was shocked. "I can't believe they're letting her do a fire baton in school."

"They let Mary-Margaret do anything she wants to do," Bo griped. "Besides, it's the fire baton that always wins her the state competitions. The judges think it's great."

"If Mary-Margaret gets to dance around with fire, she's sure to win." Peter moaned.

Bo grinned. "Not if we do something to mess her up."

"Like what?" Peter asked.

Bo didn't answer. He was too busy fishing around inside his backpack. A second later, he pulled out a rubber band and a bag of peanut M&M's.

Mary-Margaret's hoedown music started to play. Within seconds, her silver baton was a fiery blur. She passed it behind her back and under her leg. Then she tossed it high up into the air and caught it.

With every trick, the judges burst into loud applause. Mary-Margaret danced around the stage, smiling smugly.

But not for long.

Bo loaded a peanut M&M into the slingshot he'd created with the rubber band and his fingers. He took careful aim and let it rip.

A second later, catastrophe struck. But as Peter watched, it felt as if it were happening in slow motion.

Mary-Margaret had turned sideways. She'd lifted her leg to pass her fire baton beneath it. Suddenly the peanut M&M hit her in the butt, and Mary-Margaret let out a loud squeal. The fire baton flew into the air, twirling out of control.

Peter started to laugh. He thought it was the funniest thing he'd ever seen — until the swirling ball of flames slammed right into the stage curtains.


Mrs. Dingleman and the other teachers jumped out of their seats, screaming in terror as a giant flame licked its way up the curtain.

The rhinestone-studded beauty queen cowgirl dove off the stage into her mother's arms, crying hysterically.

Peter and Bo sat glued to their seats, watching in stunned disbelief.

"Call nine-one-one!" Mrs. Dingleman cried.

"Just pull the fire alarm," another teacher yelled, running for the alarm box near the door.

"Let me out of here!" Gerald MacDougal screamed. He leapt out of his seat and ran down the aisle, dragging his bagpipes behind him.

The panic was contagious. Within seconds, the auditorium was full of commotion.

"Everybody calm down." A deep, booming voice rose above the hysterics as Janitor Bob stepped out from behind the flaming curtains. "There's no problem," he assured everyone. "Just give me a minute and I'll have this whole situation under control."

"Where the heck did he come from?" Peter gasped.

"From behind the curtains," Bo answered dumbly.

"I know that," Peter muttered. "I meant, how did he get there so fast? He just went through the back doors a few seconds ago."

Peter looked at the door behind them, then down at the stage where Janitor Bob stood. It was impossible for him to have gotten onstage that quickly.

"Who knows?" Bo shrugged. "Maybe he beamed in."

"He must have," Peter said. Then he watched Janitor Bob do something even more impossible. He stepped right into the flames shooting out from the curtain, took one deep breath, and blew out the fire.

"Geez, oh, man!" Peter blinked hard. "Did you see that?"

"He just blew the whole thing out!" Bo exclaimed in amazement.

The curtains weren't even singed.

Janitor Bob bent down and picked up the fire baton from the stage floor. Then he blew that out, too.

"Oh, Bob!" Mrs. Dingleman exclaimed. "You're an absolute miracle worker!"

"Not really." Janitor Bob smiled. "These curtains are fire resistant. The flame was skittering along the surface of the material. I'm just glad I got to them before the fire really caught."

"Amazing." Mrs. Dingleman sighed. "You're absolutely amazing. I don't know what we would do around here without you."

"Nice of you to say so." Janitor Bob nodded politely to Mrs. Dingleman. But his dark, piercing eyes were focused on the back row of the auditorium.

Peter bent his head down, trying to escape Janitor Bob's glare. But his eyes were like magnets. Peter couldn't break the gaze.

Janitor Bob held up three fingers.

Strike three! Peter's stomach lurched. Janitor Bob wasn't even in the auditorium when Bo shot the M&M at Mary-Margaret, he thought. How could he possibly know what we did?

"Let's get out of here!" Bo was panicking big time. "Before Psycho Bob comes after us."

"Good idea," Peter quickly agreed.

The two of them were out of their seats and through the back doors of the auditorium like a shot.

"This way." Peter tugged on Bo's sleeve, pulling him to the back exit of the school building. Unfortunately, the doors were locked. They doubled back toward the front of the school. The coast was clear. It looked like luck was on their side. ...

Until they burst through the front doors.

"Fire trucks!" Bo gasped. "Somebody must have pulled the alarm!"

But the fire trucks were the least of their worries. Standing on the walkway blocking their escape was Janitor Bob, looking more like a madman than a miracle worker.


"That's it!" Janitor Bob grabbed Peter and Bo by their collars. "I'm done playing games with the two of you!"

"What games?" Bo blurted out in a panic. "We're not playing any games, Janitor Bob — honest!"

"It's time to take a little walk down to my office," Janitor Bob snarled.

With that news, Peter's pounding heart came to a stop. But his brain started pumping like crazy. Three strikes and you're worse than out. You're dead!

"I don't want to go down to the basement!" Peter cried aloud.

"Too bad," Janitor Bob said. "Because that's where you're going." He began marching them forward.

"Why don't you just take us to the principal's office instead?" Peter pleaded. The thought of getting suspended was a whole lot better than the thought of getting dead.

"Yeah," Bo agreed. "Why don't you just take us to Mrs. Dingleman? I promise I'll confess. I'll even tell her about the picture in the boys' room if you want."

"Sorry, pal." Janitor Bob shook his head. "You aren't getting off that easy. Besides, I like to take care of my problems all by myself."

Peter gulped.

"But don't worry about keeping this from Mrs. Dingleman," Janitor Bob went on, dragging them back toward the building. "Because I promise you, justice will be served."

Justice? What kind of justice? Psycho janitor justice?

Peter could see the blood draining from Bo's face as they exchanged terrified glances.

"Now you two M&M-shooting pyros keep your lips shut and your eyes straight ahead when we enter this building. You got me?" It wasn't a question. It was a threat.

Peter and Bo nodded. They walked along quietly as Janitor Bob steered them down the deserted hallway to the giant locked door that led to the basement.

As Janitor Bob reached for his keys, Peter shot Bo a look Bo understood. It was time to beat it out of there.

But before they'd taken even one step, Janitor Bob's massive fingers wrapped around their collars again. "Now that's three and a half," he barked. "And even I don't know what kind of punishment you should get for three and a half strikes."

Three and a half! This guy was out of his mind! What was he going to do? Kill them one and a half times?

"Move it," he ordered, shoving Peter and Bo through the open doorway in front of him.

Peter stared down at the cracked, crumbling steps that led to the basement. There wasn't even a railing. And the stairwell was so dimly lit, it really did look like the entrance to some janitorial torture chamber. It didn't help Peter's nerves when Janitor Bob shut and locked the door behind them.

"Take a left at the bottom," Janitor Bob instructed as they reached the landing.

It figures, Peter thought. The right side of the basement was brightly lit with dozens of fluorescent bulbs, but the left side was dark, dingy, and dank. One lone light bulb flickered above them.

"Oh man," Bo whispered as they inched their way toward an old door with a glow-in-the-dark sign that read JANITOR BOB'S OFFICE. "We're dead!"

"Not yet you're not," Janitor Bob snapped back. "But you will be if you keep up that yapping."

Bo let out a tiny yip before all yapping stopped.

When Janitor Bob pushed open the door to his office, the first thing Peter saw was a collection of yearbook pictures taped to the cinder-block walls. Big red Xs were drawn through some of the faces — faces Peter didn't recognize.

That's because they're probably all dead and buried underneath my feet! Peter thought. He almost hit the ceiling as Janitor Bob closed and locked the office door behind him.

"Now you two clowns put your behinds in those chairs and don't even breathe." Janitor Bob pointed to the wooden seats in front of his metal desk.

Peter and Bo did as they were told.

"Where the heck is that thing?" Janitor Bob mumbled to himself as he dug through the mountains of papers and tools he had on his desk.

What thing? Peter shot Bo a worried look.

"Dang it," Janitor Bob huffed, tossing what looked like a bone-crunching, viselike tool to the floor. "I must have left it in the washroom."

Janitor Bob reached for the door by the side of his desk. It looked like a closet. But when he pulled open the door, Peter could see that it wasn't a closet at all. It was a long dark hallway.

"Stay put," Janitor Bob ordered, stepping through the door. "I'll be right back."

As Janitor Bob disappeared into the darkness, Bo whispered frantically, "He's probably looking for his ax so he can chop us up into little pieces."

Peter wanted to scream for help, but he knew no one would hear them. No one but Janitor Bob.

"We have to get out of here!" Bo cried.

Just then, Peter heard footsteps outside. Someone was coming. Someone who might be able to save them!


Excerpted from Little Magic Shop of Horrors by Annette Cascone, Gina Cascone. Copyright © 2012 Annette Cascone and Gina Cascone. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

"Twisted Sisters" Annette and Gina Cascone have written more than twenty-eight books and two movies together. Their books include the Deadtime Stories series for middle-grade readers as well as young adult thrillers. They have also produced and written numerous treatments and books for series packagers such as Parachute Publishing, where they worked on the mega-successful Goosebumps series by R. L. Stine. They both live in Central New Jersey.

"Twisted Sisters" ANNETTE CASCONE AND GINA CASCONE have written more than twenty-eight books and two movies together. Their books include young adult thrillers, as well as the Deadtime Stories series for middle-grade readers. They have also produced and written numerous treatments and books for series packagers such as Parachute Publishing, where they worked on the mega-successful Goosebumps series by R. L. Stine. They both live in Central New Jersey.

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Little Magic Shop of Horrors 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was really good. Tons of detail.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
loved it 100% !!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes I want to chat my nickname is puppypanda10 by the way i oove the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think that the show is great but i dont think it shows it any more
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sorry about that. I pressed the post butten. What i was going to say was have you seen the deadtime stoies tv seris on nick?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago