The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. Series #1)

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. Series #1)

4.8 29
by Jonathan Stroud
     
 

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A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city, and they aren't exactly friendly. Only young people have the psychic abilities required to see-and eradicate-these supernatural foes. Many different Psychic Detection Agencies have cropped up to handle the dangerous work, and they… See more details below

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Overview


A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city, and they aren't exactly friendly. Only young people have the psychic abilities required to see-and eradicate-these supernatural foes. Many different Psychic Detection Agencies have cropped up to handle the dangerous work, and they are in fierce competition for business.

In The Screaming Staircase, the plucky and talented Lucy Carlyle teams up with Anthony Lockwood, the charismatic leader of Lockwood & Co, a small agency that runs independent of any adult supervision. After an assignment leads to both a grisly discovery and a disastrous end, Lucy, Anthony, and their sarcastic colleague, George, are forced to take part in the perilous investigation of Combe Carey Hall, one of the most haunted houses in England. Will Lockwood & Co. survive the Hall's legendary Screaming Staircase and Red Room to see another day?

Readers who enjoyed the action, suspense, and humor in Jonathan Stroud's internationally best-selling Bartimaeus books will be delighted to find the same ingredients, combined with deliciously creepy scares, in his thrilling and chilling Lockwood & Co. series.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Alexandra Mullen
With the same sophisticated imagination that made his Bartimaeus series such a success, Stroud's writing is assured and nimble. He's terrific at mixing the macabre with high-school-level repartee…
Publishers Weekly
In what has come to be called “the Problem,” the British Isles have become plagued with ghostly Visitors in this highly entertaining first book in Stroud’s Lockwood & Co. series. Since children and young teenagers are most able to sense the ghosts, psychically gifted youths are employed by agencies large and small, and use iron chains, magnesium flares, and salt bombs to contain and dispatch the Visitors. Narrator Lucy Carlyle has moved to London following a ghost-hunting mission gone very wrong, and her luck improves when she joins a small, independent outfit run by the dashing Anthony Lockwood and his studious and exasperating (to Lucy) partner, George Cubbins. Stroud (the Bartimaeus series) shows his customary flair for blending deadpan humor with thrilling action, and the fiery interplay among the three agents of Lockwood & Co. invigorates the story (along with no shortage of creepy moments). Stroud plays with ghost story conventions along the way, while laying intriguing groundwork that suggests that the Problem isn’t the only problem these young agents will face in books to come—the living can be dangerous, too. Ages 8–12. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
This first book in the “Lockwood & Co.” series reveals many of the strengths that catapulted Stroud’s “Bartimaeus” series to international success. There is fast-paced action, humor, and a rich sense of setting. This time, though, the supernatural intrigue comes not from a cranky genie but numerous unfriendly ghosts on the prowl in the city of London. First-person narrator Lucy Carlyle has joined Anthony Lockwood’s small agency, with the mission to investigate the notorious haunting of an infamous historic house. As Lucy puts it: “When you go out hunting wicked spirits, it’s the simple things that matter most,” including a silver rapier and tea bags. The ending of this smashing adventure will leave readers eager for book two. Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum; Ages 9 to 14.
School Library Journal
09/01/2013
Gr 6–9—Lucy Carlyle relates the exploits of the teenage ghost-hunting agency, Lockwood & Co. The world is still reeling from an infestation of malevolent, deadly ghosts that can only be detected by Talented youngsters with rare psychic sensitivities. Anthony Lockwood heads his three-person team, including Lucy and George Cubbins, in their efforts to defeat the evil spirits-and remain solvent. A minor haunting that turns into a major problem leads Lockwood & Co. to a brooding mansion that has already claimed the lives of more experienced ghost hunters. Combe Carey Hall is "the most haunted private house in England… an ugly oppressive mongrel of a building," and the trio quickly realizes that the dangers they face have human as well as supernatural sources. Authentically spooky events occur in an engagingly crafted, believable world, populated by distinct, colorful personalities. The genuinely likable members of Lockwood & Co. persevere through the evil machinations of the living and the dead and manage to come out with their skins, and their senses of humor, intact. This smart, fast-paced ghostly adventure promises future chills.—Janice M. Del Negro, GSLIS Dominican University, River Forest, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Three young ghost trappers take on deadly wraiths and solve an old murder case in the bargain to kick off Stroud's new post-Bartimaeus series. Narrator Lucy Carlyle hopes to put her unusual sensitivity to supernatural sounds to good use by joining Lockwood & Co.--one of several firms that have risen to cope with the serious ghost Problem that has afflicted England in recent years. As its third member, she teams with glib, ambitious Anthony Lockwood and slovenly-but-capable scholar George Cubbins to entrap malign spirits for hire. The work is fraught with peril, not only because a ghost's merest touch is generally fatal, but also, as it turns out, as none of the three is particularly good at careful planning and preparation. All are, however, resourceful and quick on their feet, which stands them in good stead when they inadvertently set fire to a house while discovering a murder victim's desiccated corpse. It comes in handy again when they later rashly agree to clear Combe Carey Hall, renowned for centuries of sudden deaths and regarded as one of England's most haunted manors. Despite being well-stocked with scream-worthy ghastlies, this lively opener makes a light alternative for readers who find the likes of Joseph Delaney's Last Apprentice series too grim and creepy for comfort. A heartily satisfying string of entertaining near-catastrophes, replete with narrow squeaks and spectral howls. (Ghost adventure. 11-13)
From the Publisher
"This story will keep you reading late into the night, but you'll want to leave the lights on. Stroud is a genius at inventing an utterly believable world which is very much like ours, but so creepily different. Put The Screaming Staircase on your 'need to read' list!"
Rick Riordan"

A pleasure from tip to tail, this is the book you hand the advanced readers that claim they'd rather read Paradise Lost than Harry Potter. Smart as a whip, funny, witty, and honestly frightening at times, Stroud lets loose and gives readers exactly what they want. Ghosts, kids on their own without adult supervision, and loads of delicious cookies."
Elizabeth Bird, School Library Journal"

Stroud shows his customary flair for blending deadpan humor with thrilling action, and the fiery interplay among the three agents of Lockwood & Co. invigorates the story (along with no shortage of creepy moments)." —Publishers Weekly"

...Stroud writes for a younger audience in book one of the Lockwood & Co. series and delivers some chilling scenes along the way."—Booklist"

Three young ghost trappers take on deadly wraiths and solve an old murder case in the bargain to kick off Stroud's new post-Bartimaeus series. The work is fraught with peril, not only because a ghost's merest touch is generally fatal, but also, as it turns out, none of the three is particularly good at careful planning and preparation. A heartily satisfying string of entertaining near-catastrophes, replete with narrow squeaks and spectral howls."—Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781423164913
Publisher:
Disney-Hyperion
Publication date:
09/17/2013
Series:
Lockwood and Co. Series, #1
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
311,079
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)
Lexile:
720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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