Overview

Three wishes go awry in a middle-grade debut as comical as it is spooky.

Toxic Vapor Worms. Shark Hounds. King-Crab Spiders. Two-Headed Mutant Rodents.

These are just a few of the beasts featured in the pages of Scare Scape, the creepiest comic book around. They are vicious. They are terrifying. They are,...
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Scare Scape

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Overview

Three wishes go awry in a middle-grade debut as comical as it is spooky.

Toxic Vapor Worms. Shark Hounds. King-Crab Spiders. Two-Headed Mutant Rodents.

These are just a few of the beasts featured in the pages of Scare Scape, the creepiest comic book around. They are vicious. They are terrifying. They are, luckily, totally made up.

Morton Clay is a huge fan of Scare Scape, so he isn't easily frightened. He's not afraid of the dark, or grossed-out by bugs and slugs. But when Morton and his siblings, James and Melissa, find an old stone statue buried in their yard, they discover that there is good reason to be afraid. . . .

Spooky, funny, and fresh, Sam Fisher's middle-grade debut explores the bonds and rivalries that are unique to siblings . . . even as it revels in monstrous mayhem!
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Janice DeLong
When Morton and his family move to Dimvale so that his astronomer father can work at the observatory, they have no idea of the powers of darkness they will face. Although Morton collects creepy creatures, such as zombie twins and flesh-eating cockroaches, he would never have guessed that finding a mysterious gargoyle in his yard would cause his collection to come to life. Even without the harassment of his critters, the middle-schooler has enough to deal with: missing his recently deceased mother, two older siblings who are constantly bickering, and being a new kid in town combine to make his life miserable, as well as frightening. Although, initially, the discovery of the gargoyle seems to be a good thing, it casts the youngsters into the shadow of evil. Luckily, Morton and his older sister Melissa find two new friends who prove true in the strongest sense of the word, solutions are found, and a criminal gets his just (though gruesome) reward. This first novel from Sam Fisher is not a bedtime story, but there are important lessons in life taught through the medium of creepy creatures, spells, and a murderous authority figure. Reviewer: Janice DeLong
From the Publisher

"Fisher's debut's an imaginative, not-too-dark urban fantasy. . . . Fans of spooky fiction and comics will be in a dark and happy place." - KIRKUS REVIEWS

"This scary, but not too scary, horror novel has excellent characters; a well-developed plot; and clear, well-paced writing. . . . A fun supplement to the classic tale ["The Monkey's Paw"], but it will more likely find a home with horror-fiction lovers, filling the gap between R. L. Stine's Goosebumps and Darren Shan's The Demonata series." - SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

"Straddling the genres of horror, low fantasy, and action thriller, with slight nods to The Twilight Zone and E. Nesbit, this book holds high appeal for kids like Morton who are fascinated with the creepy and the weird, and the strong characterization, authentic conflict within a family reeling from the loss of a mother, and Morton's impressive inner strength while under pressure add dimension. . . . Give this one to kids looking for something a step up from Goosebumps." - BCCB

"A Lovecraft-lite debut full of monster-fighting action and a dark-magic mystery." - BOOKLIST

School Library Journal
11/01/2013
Gr 4–7—If the welcome sign is to be believed, Dimvale is the "Darkest Town in the Civilized World." With its "bylaws controlling light pollution," it is a perfect fit for the Clay children's newly widowed astronomer father, but their derelict new home is a bit too ominous for all but the youngest of the family, Morton. Sent by his dad to spruce up the unkempt lawn, he finds a gargoyle inscribed with instructions on how it can grant three wishes. A fan of the horror comic Scare Scape, Morton wishes for his Scare Scape dolls to become more realistic. As in the classic "The Monkey's Paw," what he desires comes to pass; his hideous, poisonous, fanged stuffed animals come to life to wreak havoc on the town. This scary, but not too scary, horror novel has excellent characters; a well-developed plot; and clear, well-paced writing. The main figures accurately represent teen siblings. They fight and squabble, but pull together when things go awry. The book tactfully explores the perception of those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged when the protagonist develops a strong friendship with an underprivileged boy who is perpetually accused of being a thief. An interesting, illustrated guide to the monsters in the novel is included. In a classroom, this title could be a fun supplement to the classic tale, but it will more likely find a home with horror-fiction lovers, filling the gap between R. L. Stine's "Goosbumps" (Scholastic) and Darren Shan's "The Demonata" series (Little, Brown).—Devin Burritt, Wells Public Library, ME
Kirkus Reviews
Wishes can come back to bite you...especially when they're granted. Morton Clay, his 13-year-old brother, James, 16-year-old sister, Melissa, and their widowed father, a British astronomer, move to Dimvale to escape light pollution. Dad has bought their new home sight unseen, and it's pretty dilapidated. Morton, who loves the Scare Scape comics, thinks the house is cool; his quarrelsome older siblings don't. When the trio finds a buried gargoyle statue promising wishes when its fingers are broken off, all three make wishes in haste. When those wishes come true, the warning on the statue--"Choices made without due care / Will plague forever--friend, beware!"--is quickly borne out. Morton's monster toys come to horrifying life. Melissa's closet becomes infinite (and full of monsters). Most terrifyingly, James can't remember what his wish was. With a couple of new friends in tow, they discover they've moved into the house owned by the deceased creator of Scare Scape...and researching him may be their only chance of reversing their frightening wishes. Canadian screenwriting professor Fisher's debut's an imaginative, not-too-dark urban fantasy. Characters are refreshingly realistic, though some of the real situations are less so. A 40-page introduction to the beasts of Scare Scape appearing at the front will entice even reluctant readers to try the novel. Fans of spooky fiction and comics will be in a dark and happy place--especially when they learn there's a sequel due in 2014. (Horror. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545521628
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/27/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,116,381
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • File size: 7 MB

Meet the Author


Sam Fisher worked as a scenic carpenter on movie sets before quitting his day job to become a writer and teacher. A native of England, Sam now lives with his wife and children in Canada, where he teaches screenwriting and film production at NSCAD University. SCARE SCAPE is his first novel.
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