School of Fear (School of Fear Series #1)

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Overview

Everyone is afraid of something...

Madeleine Masterson is deathly afraid of bugs, especially spiders.

Theodore Bartholomew is petrified of dying.
Lulu Punchalower is scared of confined spaces.

Garrison Feldman is terrified of deep water.
With very few options left, the parents of these four twelve year-olds send them to the highly elusive ...

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School of Fear (School of Fear Series #1)

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Overview

Everyone is afraid of something...

Madeleine Masterson is deathly afraid of bugs, especially spiders.

Theodore Bartholomew is petrified of dying.
Lulu Punchalower is scared of confined spaces.

Garrison Feldman is terrified of deep water.
With very few options left, the parents of these four twelve year-olds send them to the highly elusive and exclusive School of Fear to help them overcome their phobias. But when their peculiar teacher, Mrs. Wellington, and her unconventional teaching methods turn out to be more frightening than even their fears, the foursome realize that this just may be the scariest summer of their lives.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Scott Brick is perfect as narrator-cool, calm, and collected through murder, theft, and conspiracy at the highest levels of society. The dialogue grips the listener as Brick's voice pulses with tension and deception."—AudioFile
AudioFile
"Scott Brick is perfect as narrator-cool, calm, and collected through murder, theft, and conspiracy at the highest levels of society. The dialogue grips the listener as Brick's voice pulses with tension and deception."
Publishers Weekly
Imagine a humorous middle-grade novel by a less self-absorbed Woody Allen to get an idea of this intelligent and witty children’s debut. Daneshvari assembles a precocious cast of 12- and 13-year-olds with outsize fears, including Madeleine, whose obsessive fear of insects keeps her drenched in bug repellant; Theo, “the most dramatic, hysterical, and neurotic boy in the borough of Manhattan”; brazen Lulu, with crippling claustrophobia; and hydrophobic Garrison. Desperate families entrust these kids to Mrs. Wellington, the snarky “deranged beauty queen” of a headmistress at the secretive and fairly terrifying School of Fear (“Perhaps when the summer is finished you’ll write a letter to the board of camps to complain,” Mrs. Wellington tells the children when they learn they are the sole campers. “And please do not let the board’s hypothetical status deter you”). What ensues is tautly paced, spine-tingling and quite funny, as the children overcome their fears and learn to work as a team. The ending proves as clever as the premise and shows that while everyone is afraid of something, tremendous achievements can be won by facing fear head-on. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Sara Rofofsky Marcus
Four twelve-year-old children from diverse backgrounds and geographic locations come together for a single purpose—their parents' desire to cure each child of a debilitating fear during a six-week summer program in New England. At the School of Fear, Lulu, Madeline, Theo, and Garrison learn to depend upon each other in the isolated house. The only adults present are a creepy caretaker and the headmistress, Mrs. Wellington. At this exclusive, secret, and private school, the children must overcome their fears; but first they must learn to deal with the eccentric Mrs. Wellington's insistence on teaching them all to be beauty queens. The unorthodox school, teacher, groundskeeper, and classmates are more fearsome than their personal fears, and those things grow increasingly fearsome as each day passes. Mrs. Wellington's unorthodox methods eventually work, and the students learn the true meaning of friendship and bravery and successfully overcome their fears. Reviewer: Sara Rofofsky Marcus
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—"Everyone is afraid of something." So begins each chapter of this unusual book (Little Brown, 2009) by Gitty Daneshvari. Madeline is so obsessively afraid of bugs that she lives in a cloud of repellent and will not venture outdoors. Neurotic Theodore is terrified of death, and outspoken Lulu is claustrophobic. Although he is a good-looking and successful sports figure at school, Garrison is so paralyzed by the mere thought of water that he breaks out in a cold sweat if he even sees a lake in the distance. These youngsters are sent to the School of Fear during the summer to overcome their phobias. The four "contestants," as they are called by the school's headmistress and only teacher Mrs. Wellington, have the scariest summer of their lives. Mrs. Wellington is an outrageous ex-beauty queen who hasn't the vaguest idea of how to teach students. The school is chaotic, secretive, and a terrifying conglomeration of the oddest doors and rooms you could imagine, including a "Fearnasium." Yet, by the end of summer, the four young people discover that they were wrong about Mrs. Wellington, the school, and themselves. Emma Walton Hamilton expressively reads the fast-paced action and witty repartee, giving each character a unique voice. The result is an amusing, intriguing, and slightly terrifying adventure, with a wonderful lesson for anyone who is afraid of something.—MaryAnn Karre, Horace Mann Elementary School, Binghamton, NY
Kirkus Reviews
The course of instruction at a school for phobic children turns out to be anything but conventional in this hyperbolically arch romp. Having carried their fears to such extremes that parents, counselors and doctors are powerless to help, Madeleine (spiders and insects), Lucy (claustrophobia), Garrison (water) and Theo (death) find themselves trucked off to an isolated Massachusetts mansion. Its facilities include a well-stocked "Fearnasium," breakfast consists of "casu frazigu" (maggot cheese) sandwiches produced by a blind and crusty octogenarian cook/caretaker and the teacher is Mrs. Wellington, an ancient ex-beauty queen who claims to be able to train cats. Daneshvari takes this setup and runs with it, injecting plenty of droll dialogue and plunging the four students into one challenging, chaotic situation after another. Gifford's fine-lined vignettes add suitably tongue-in-cheek visual notes. The children prove more resilient than even they expect, and the closing revelation that Mrs. Wellington's boast is actually true is just one of several surprises that the author springs at the end. Look for plenty of eye-rolling and head-shaking from urbane readers. (Fiction. 11-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781600247934
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Series: School of Fear Series , #1
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 5.75 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Gitty Daneshvari

Former Contrafilms Director of Development, Gitty Daneshvari is the author of the adult novel The Makedown. Inspired by being forced to deal with her own set of fears, this is Gitty's debut children's book. She lives in New York.

Carrie Gifford spent many years teaching and directing children's theater before starting Red Cap Cards with her husband. Her signature wonderland-esque pencil-and-ink style is inspired by her childhood memories. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 198 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(144)

4 Star

(29)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(13)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 201 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 13, 2011

    "School Of Fear" review

    Everyone is afraid of something. But these kids aren't just afraid of things: they're TERRIFIED of them. Madeline Masterson has arachnophobia, or a fear of spiders. She never goes anywhere without her veil or her insect repellent. Theo Bartholomew has thanatophobia, or a fear of death, causing him to think almost everything is a safety hazard. Lulu Punchalower has claustrophobia, or a fear of confined spaces. She will do anything not to go in elevators, or tunnels. Garrison Feldman has aquaphobia, or fear of water. He will collapse if he even goes near a lake or river. These four unlikely friends are all sent to the prestigious School of Fear that will supposedly cure their phobias. Trapped in the eerie school, the kids must learn to face their fears before they find out how scary they really are. This book is an intriguing novel about four kids who must overcome their fears, but it has a twist. Full of surprises and a little suspense, "School of Fear" is a good read for kids nine and over. It's also for those of you that use AR at your schools because it's nine points. The bottom line: good. May read again

    16 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2010

    School Of Fear Book Review

    This story takes place in Massachusetts 2008. This story is about the adventure of four children, Madeline, Lulu, Garrison and Theo. All of these children have a specific fear. Madeline is afraid of bugs especially spiders, Lulu is afraid of confined spaces, Theodore is afraid of death, and Garrison is afraid of deep waters. Due to the cause of these childrens' horrors, they have been sent to School of Fear for the summer. When they get to this school they meet Mrs.Wellingon the former beauty queen who is obsessed with appearance who is also the owner and runner of the school, and Schimidty the housekeeper. As the school days go by, the children feel that they will never be able to conquer their fears since all they had been learning is beauty techniques. One day Maunchauser, Wellington's lawyer arrives by surprise. He mentions Mrs..Wellingtons one fear and she gets very very angry. Later in the day she dies, she leaves her house and enormous fourtne to her beloved dog, Mac. Maunchauser captures the dog and Schimidty leaves his trust in the children to try and get Mac back. Will they fail? Can they succeed?

    There are three positives and three negatives I had on this book. One positive I had is that the characters in this book are all very different and unique which makes it interesting on all of their points of view. Another positive I had on his book was it was very unexpected and surprising in some parts of the book. My last positive I had on this book was that it took place in Massachusetts which is the state I live in. While I was writing I always considered if I knew where the characters were. One negative I had on this book was that sometimes parts can get confusing. I wouldn't recommend this to children under 10 years old. Another negative I had on this book was that some parts you can expect what will happen in the book. My last negative that I had on this book was that parts in this book can get dull. The middle of the book was very boring to me. Those are several positives and negatives that I had on this book.

    The writing style of the author is very unique. Mrs. Daneshvari uses a mix of slang and proper language in this book. Mostly she uses slang when the kid characters are talking in this book. Gitty tells this story in second person. I like it better this way because you can get all parts of the story from every character in the book this way to me. In this story the author has a mix of short and complex vocabulary as well.There are many reasons why I do and don't recommend this book. One reason I recommend this book is because it can keep you reading for hours. Another reason why I do recommend this book is because you can get an unexpected surprise in almost every chapter in this book. One reason why i do not recommend this book is because
    some parts in the book can get a little daft.

    Some similar novels to this book are The Mysterious Benidict Society, The Door to Time, and Princess Academy. Some books I recommend are No Talking, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and The Outsiders.

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2012

    Wow

    This book seems amazing i have read all the reviews and it's sounds so good!!!! It is cool how there is not one bad review. The reason I found this book is because imy Bff told me about it and she was like Read it so i said ok and now it is added to my wislist. I am exicted to read this. Also my Bff is on her last book so she said this is such a good series so i read it. Now i am exicted to read this. Finally, you should read this book to if you are looking for a great kids book. Hope you take my advice.
    From,
    Reviewer<3

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

    Shool of Fear

    A gripping book that caucht my attention. It's really good and I love it

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2013

    School of Fear

    Amazingly well-written, this book tells an interesting story about people with weird fears that try to overcome them. There is a major twist at the end. The book didn't disappoint me one bit and I couldn't put it down! It is written in what I would call "old-fashion" language, but fictionally taking place not too long ago. Readers ranging in ages 11-adult would enjoy this book very much. I think it would be a great read- aloud book for your son or daughter, also.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    Review for school of fear

    This is a good book and does not turn out as you would expect

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2013

    Bananas

    Love this book read it a thousand times. You should get this because its sooo good. And if you have already read this you should read the 2nd one, School Of Fear class is not dissmissed, Then read the last one, School Of Fear the final exam.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    Mrs. Wellington

    Love it! There are strange twists at the end. Spoiler Alert: It is a two summer contract. One more term..... Btw, Macaroni is possibly the fattest dog ever known to dogkind

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2013

    School of Fear Series

    I LOVE this series. These kids are hilariously terrified of
    things. Whenever Madeleine says something I always do my "English" accent and then match the others voices to their personality. But anyway this book is soo interesting. There is never a dull moment in the house with Mrs.Wellington around.Gitty Danshvari, I love you for writing this series. Dont make the series stop at The final Exam. WRITE MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2012

    phobias : awsome

    Ok

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2012

    Good book

    I liked this book! Its really interesting to read, uts basically about these group of kids who get sent to this school that helps them get rid of their fear. One of them is afraid of bugs, and another is afraid of deep water, another is afraid of dying and another is afraid of small spaces. I am extremely afraid of heights

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    A faliure

    Honesly if i could i would give this book 0 stars. Honesly absolutely NO thought went in this book. The art work on the cover looks cool but this book was predictibke. I cant believe this book hgot published

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    One of the best nook books i have ever read

    Although there are parents that this book is wierd and innapropriate, think again this book is not innapropriate and is kid friendly.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Pretty good!

    Really good book but a little hard to follow and confusing at times. But overall, a really great book! I am 11 but this would be a good book for ages 10 to 13. Good for both girls and boys.

    Posted from my awesome NOOK tablet

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 27, 2011

    Nook Rip Off Alert

    the nook book is three dollars more then the paperback, why? pure greed, there is no way that an e-book costs $3 more then a paperback, and BN doesn't give members discounts, total greed and misleading, one of the selling points for buying a nook is that the books are cheaper, well that's not true, is it?

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2011

    Pretty good read

    My students liked it but much of the language was above their level. A bit wordy but cute.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 18, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Awesome Characters

    My 10 year old LOVED this book. The characters were great. He liked the different phobias. He loved the plot and hopes there is another book in the series.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2014

    Never read it??

    The cover reminds me of the "Incorrigable Children of Ashton Place."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2014

    Alex

    Okay?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2014

    Kduslijdksid

    So funnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnny

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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