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Scarlett Dedd

Scarlett Dedd

5.0 2
by Cathy Brett

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Meet Scarlett Dedd. Scarlett is absolutely mortified (in more ways than one) to discover that she's accidentally killed herself trying to get out a school trip. Even worse, she's taken her entire family with her! Left in limbo, bored to death and fearing her friendless state is terminal, an ominous idea pops into Scarlett's head. Can Scarlett really execute her


Meet Scarlett Dedd. Scarlett is absolutely mortified (in more ways than one) to discover that she's accidentally killed herself trying to get out a school trip. Even worse, she's taken her entire family with her! Left in limbo, bored to death and fearing her friendless state is terminal, an ominous idea pops into Scarlett's head. Can Scarlett really execute her grim plan? Or will it turn out to be a fatal and very messy mistake?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
British author/illustrator Brett makes her U.S. debut with a wildly offbeat tale of life and death, first published in the U.K. in 2010. Following a bad batch of mushroom risotto, gloomy teenager Scarlett Dedd ends up dead but not departed, a ghost who can still interact with the living. Much to her disgust, her entire family joins her in the afterlife (“DIS... ARSE... TER,” blogs Scarlett the ghost. “MY FAMILY ATE THE ’SHROOMS!!”). Coming to terms with her new state of existence, Scarlett decides the only way to make friends is to kill the ones she had while she was alive. Unfortunately, her attempts to do so keep failing miserably. Brett mixes sardonic humor, quirky and occasionally gruesome illustrations (the aesthetic recalls that of the British band Gorillaz), and Scarlett’s blog entries to create an unusual but fast-paced story. The book design contributes strongly to the overall off-kilter style, including creative font variations and text layouts, where words warp, turn sideways, or even circle the page. While the plot is on the thin side, the sheer whimsy and entertainment value compensate. Ages 12–up. (Aug.)
VOYA - Lindsay Grattan
Scarlett Dedd has many concerns in her young life. Along with having a name that conjures up dead people, she is mortified by how "dead" her whole family actually appears. Their sallow features, odd behaviors, and phobia of sunshine are a constant annoyance for Scarlett. She seeks refuge in the company of her friends, who enjoy making gruesome films and have names like Psycho and Taz. With the week-long school trip approaching, Scarlett tries desperately to concoct a plan to get sick so that she does not have to go, as she dreads prolonged scrutiny from her peers for her sickly appearance and propensity to get nauseous on bus trips. When she makes a risotto from wild mushrooms, she not only gets sick, but ends up accidentally poisoning her entire family, resulting in everyone dying. The subsequent scenes play out with a ghost Scarlett haunting her classmates from beyond the grave. Scarlett is a self-described miserable teenager who thinks life is not fair, is embarrassed of her family, and worries about what her classmates think of her. This is not your typical teenage angst story, however. This graphic novel is full-on quirky from the gross imagery to the layout of the text and pictures. There is something downright disgusting on nearly every page, from vomiting to moldy bread to eating worms. Though there is likely to be plenty of cringing and nose-wrinkling, readers will get a kick out of this humorous, wacky ghost story. Reviewer: Lindsay Grattan
Kirkus Reviews
Quirky illustrations and mildly dark humor isn't enough to overcome the pedestrian nature of this British horror novel. Even before her death, Scarlett Dedd seemed to have one foot in the grave, with her pale coloring and love of grisly horror movies. She accidentally kills herself and her family with poisonous mushrooms, leaving her a lonely ghost. She wants to reach out to her friends--the interchangeable Psycho, JP, Rip and Taz--yet every time she tries, she suffers from "ghost puke." After a suggestion from a new friend at a website called Ghoulkool (because even dead people need social media sites?), Scarlett tries to kill her friends so they can join her in the afterlife. But when those friends are threatened by actual bad guys, Scarlett and her family help save the gang, and Scarlett finally works toward an accommodation with her new, dead status. Brett is a talented illustrator with a hip and humorous take. Her illustrations give the characters most of their depth; there isn't much in the text to distinguish them otherwise. Scarlett's voice is occasionally funny, yet it's much like other British imports. Scarlett's blog posts and chat transcripts help pull the narrative weight as well. Readers willing to stay with this slow-moving story won't find much new here other than good pictures. (Horror. 14 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—Scarlett Dedd is determined to make herself sick so she can avoid a pending school trip. Her plan goes horribly awry when a fatal mistake kills her and her whole family. Death delivers the Dedds to the world of the undead, where they are visible only to each other and others like themselves. Scarlett's miseries quickly pile up. The only friends she now has are online ghosts, who suggest that she try killing her friends so she can keep their company. Scarlett also needs to prevent real killers from taking over her family home. Readers will enjoy the skullduggery, the edgy humor, and Brett's use of multimedia. Blog posts and artifacts should tempt readers to explore further. A great choice for those interested in horror, humor, and graphic novels.—Lisa Gieskes, Richland County Public Library, Columbia, SC

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 7.66(h) x 0.98(d)
850L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

CATHY BRETT has been scribbling stuff for more than twenty years—as a fashion illustrator, as a jet-setting spotter of global trends and as a consultant to the behemoths of the British high street. She now lectures in design and unashamedly plunders her students' lives for sensational storylines and characters.

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Scarlett Dedd 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
crayolakym More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Avery, age 9, for City Book Review This book was so good. The best part is all of the pictures that add to the story line. I loved how it has not just writing, but also blog entries and pictures that make this book so funny. Scarlett Dedd accidentally kills herself to avoid going on a field trip. She was just trying to make herself sick with the mushrooms she added to the risotto, but she dies instead. And she isn’t the only one. “ ‘I’m so ill, I’ve gone transparent!’ I moaned. ‘Oh, crap!’ ” Her entire family eats it and dies too, so now she is alone with her ghost family FOREVER! She misses her friends, but every time she is around them she gets super sick. Scarlett is told  that, if she wants to be with them, she can just kill them. So she does. If you are bored to death and want a story that will kill you with laughter, this is the one to read! *This book was provided in exchange for an honest review* *You can view the original review at City Book Review
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
There are good YA’s - there are great YA’s - some just so-so - but very rarely does one come along where not only is the plot fantastic and hysterical all at the same time, but the illustrations are phenomenal. This is Scarlett Dedd. Even before the death of the entire Dedd family, Scarlett Dedd had to constantly deal with the dead jokes from other kids. Not only was the last name a source of teasing, but Scarlett was also the eldest child of the oddest family on the street. They were poor, the house already looked like a broken-down, haunted chalet, and her father - a writer by the name of Wolfgang - had a garden where he grew some of the most disgusting food so that they could ‘eat healthy’ and save money on groceries. On top of all that, Scarlett was extremely pasty and her best friend’s name is Psycho. Along comes a seven-day trip with the school where she’ll have to go and explore the WWI trenches while staying in a youth hostel that makes her sick. Besides all that, Psycho isn’t going, so Scarlett wants to stay home, too. What better way to allow herself an out? Make herself sick. Well…she decides to make risotto using the wild mushroom that’s found in Dad’s garden. Now the mushroom is supposed to make you sick, unfortunately…it also made her and the rest of the family who decided to eat the risotto leftovers dead as doornails! Around the neighborhood people see bikes going along the street with no rider, they hear doors slamming inside the Dedd’s now haunted house - even the windows fog up as if someone is breathing on the glass from the inside. When Scarlett learns that she’s nothing but a ghost, she feels more than a little lonely and decides that to not be alone (and have to be stuck with just her annoying family for the rest of eternity), she will cause accidents that will take her group of friends out one by one. And hilarity ensues! As I stated, this is one of those unique books that offers humor, characters you won’t forget, and illustrations that are to die for! (No pun intended). Quill Says: The best gift you can get for Halloween….or any other time, for that matter!