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Scary School #3: The Northern Frights

Scary School #3: The Northern Frights

4.5 6
by Derek the Ghost

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In The Northern Frights, the third book in the spooky Scary School series, Charles “New Kid” Nukid and his friends, including Lattie, a girl ninja, must fight an epic battle with an ice dragon to save their school. But first they must survive going to Scream Academy as exchange students. And that may be hard, because the Academy has an


In The Northern Frights, the third book in the spooky Scary School series, Charles “New Kid” Nukid and his friends, including Lattie, a girl ninja, must fight an epic battle with an ice dragon to save their school. But first they must survive going to Scream Academy as exchange students. And that may be hard, because the Academy has an abominable snowman for a principal, a Headless Horseman as one of the teachers, and the students are yetis, trolls, and ogres!
Will Charles survive to make an ancient prophecy come to pass and save everyone? The illustrated Scary School trilogy by Derek the Ghost, with its mix of humor, scares, and adventure, is a perfect pick for middle-grade readers of the Wayside School series and the Zach Files books.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Youngsters familiar with the earlier books in this series would be the best audience for this lackluster addition, as frequent references are made to characters and plot developments without adequate explanation. Eleven-year-old Derek the Ghost introduces the story by telling readers about the latest challenge for the Scary School students: They must participate as exchange students at their evil counterpart-Scream Academy. Characters are silly and one-dimensional, such as Penny Possum (who hides like a possum in the back of the classroom) and Jason (who wears a white hockey mask like the horror-movie character). Conflicts are resolved without much fight. The students encounter some creepy characters, including witches, trolls, and an ice dragon, but they offer little suspense in a fairly predictable plot. Marsha Jones's "Ghostville Elementary" (Scholastic), Dan Gutman's "My Weird School" (HarperCollins), and Debbie Dadey's "Bailey School Kids" (Scholastic) series are better selections for kids who enjoy the funny scary genre.—Julie Shatterly, W.A. Bess Elementary School, Gastonia, NC
Chris Grabenstein
Praise for Scary School: “Spooky, ooky, and kooky, Scary School reminds me of my middle school.”
Praise for Scary School: “[T]his is a laugh-out-loud offering that should find a broad and appreciative audience among boys and girls alike.”
Dan Gutman
Praise for Scary School: “I died laughing. Weird monsters in silly situations. Why didn’t I think of that?”
E.J. Altbacker
Praise for Scary School: “Scary School is the perfect combination of hilarious and terrifying. It’s hilarifying!”
Children's Literature - Magi Evans
The new student at Scary School is Lattie the ninja girl, whose master enrolled her in Scary School to be sure she was taken care of when he was captured by the Ice Dragon. Known to appear and disappear at will, Lattie also has a platitude for every situation. In this third book in the "Scary School" series, when the students return to school after winter break, the principal announces that six students will be chosen to attend Scream Academy as exchange students. When Charles Nukid and five of his Scary School classmates are named, they are truly scared. After all, Scream Academy is above the Arctic Circle, and its principal has announced that a prophecy declares that a human child will have to fight the scariest monster of all time. Before they even get there, Charles is lost in a crevasse, where he meets Marlin the Fizard (a cross between a wizard and a fish). Marlin reveals that Charles is destined to fight the Ice Dragon, and predicts he will die in the fight. Meanwhile, the other students are contending with all the hazards of Scream Academy: a hallway full of torture devices, a swarm of bookeaters, a three headed witch with one mobile eyeball, a headless horseman teacher, and a snowman principal who literally melts down under stress. Charles rejoins his classmates, and as the Ice Dragon approaches, Charles bravely lifts the Sword of Fire that only he can wield, and with the help of his friends he saves both Scream Academy and Scary School from the Ice Dragon's anti-education rampage, while also releasing Lattie's master and nullifying Marlin's prediction of Charles' death. All the hallmarks of the "Scary School" series—ridiculously funny teachers and students, seemingly deadly but hilarious situations, and monsters of all description—are included in this volume, to the delight of young readers, whether or not they have read the first two stories. Reviewer: Magi Evans
Kirkus Reviews
Six more-or-less-human Scary School students try their luck at frozen, all-monster Scream Academy ("Be judicious or be delicious") as part of an exchange program. The experiment goes well enough at first--at least there aren't any immediate casualties--as the six are conveyed north of the Arctic Circle by giant polter-bears and thrust into classrooms filled with malign trolls, ogres, witches and worse. In chapters with titles like "The Deadly Loogie" and "Severed Head of the Class," nerdy Charles Nukid and his quailing classmates soldier on. They squeak past a continual barrage of deadly threats to a culminating one in the form of Mortazella, a huge Ice Dragon out to destroy all the monster schools. With help from a fiery sword, some much-more-fiery hot peppers and friends like Penny Possum, whose silence literally speaks volumes, Charles prevails and returns to Scary School in triumph. As in previous episodes, the monster count is high, but the body count and the level of actual violence are low. Also as before, the author/narrator ("Derek the Ghost") tucks an extra chapter of thrills into the series' website. It's billed as a trilogy finale for no evident reason except, perhaps, premise exhaustion, but that's a pretty good one. Finished art not seen. Another lightweight creature feature, with a teeming supporting cast of ookie-spookies. (Comic horror. 8-11)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Scary School , #3
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File size:
6 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Derek the Ghost is an eleven-year-old ghost who haunts the classrooms and hallways of Scary School writing down all the spine-tingling, often hilarious things that go on there. He is the author of Scary School and Scary School #2: Monsters on the March. Despite his ghostly state, Derek still enjoys reading comic books and hopes to one day become a master ninja. If that doesn't work out, he will continue to share the fun of this very special, very secret school, so all kids can experience the scariest school on earth.

Scott M. Fischer has illustrated many books, including the New York Times bestselling Peter Pan in Scarlet, Jump!, Animals Anonymous, and the Secrets of Dripping Fang series. Scott graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He lives in western Massachusetts with his wife, daughter, dog, cat, goldfish, and a cockatoo named Fred.

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Scary School #3: The Northern Frights 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
CathieArms More than 1 year ago
A couple of years ago, I was on a mad search for a book that would appeal to my then 7-year old son.  He was going through a period where he didn’t like to read, and his attention span was so short that reading to him was not only a challenge, but pure torture for me.  I knew I’d have to find something that would capture his interest so completely that he’d be glued to the story and beg me to turn the pages.  After an endless Google search using search words like “great boy books” and “hilarious chapter books for boys,” I kept stumbling upon one title over and over:  Scary School by Derek the  Ghost. Once the Scary School title had popped up for about the fifteenth time, I started to look a little closer at the title and found that it had received rave reviews from hundreds of different reviewers – both kids and adults alike.  It didn’t seem to have a bad review, and so I took a leap of faith and ordered the book.  The result:  It was a complete hit!  Not just for my son; but for myself…my husband…my teenage daughter…and eventually the entire 2nd, 3rd and 5th grade classes at my son's school this past May when the school was fortunate enough to receive a personal visit from the author.  We just couldn’t get enough!  Teachers were reading to their students and enjoying the books; parents were reading to their kids; and kids who had professed a dislike for reading were literally devouring the book.  The school library ordered several copies of the first two books and the wait-list to check them out was so long that the media specialist wasn’t sure they’d be able to get through the list even if they’d had another few months of school.  The books were that good!  After all, who could possibly get enough of a school run by monsters, where just making it to the end of the day without being eaten was considered to be a “good day”? Scary School is back, now with its third installment:  Scary School:  The Northern Frights.  And oh boy are readers in for a treat! Fans of the first two Scary School books will see a return of their favorite characters:  Charles Nukid, the newest kid at Scary School; Jason Borjees, a hockey fanatic who always wears a hockey mask and just happens to carry around a chainsaw at all times; Fred Kroger, who has razor-sharp fingernails and assumes that all-things-scary must be a dream; Petunia Petals (Yup!  We learn her last name in this book!), the purple girl with the endless swarms of bees; Dr. Dragonbreath, a ginormous dragon-teacher at Scary School who is simply biding his time until you break a rule so that he can eat you; and the painfully shy Penny Possum, who becomes so terrified that she plays dead to avoid confrontation.  They’re all back, and they’re just as fun and colorful as in previous books. New in this book is Lattie the Ninja Girl, who is hands-down my favorite character of any of the Scary School books!  Lattie was trained by a Ninja Master and is amazing!  She’s brave, swift on her feet, and can catch a spitwad from across the room with just two pencils held in her hand like a set of chopsticks.  And she’s wise, spouting off Zen-like advice reminiscent of the Karate Kid’s Mr. Miyagi. In this newest installment of Scary School, six students are selected in an exchange program to attend the scariest school of all:  Scream Academy!  The only human student to ever survive is Scary School’s own Principal Headcrusher, and the students will need to rely on their wits – and especially each other – to come out unscathed. Kids will love this book for the same reasons they loved the original two Scary School books:  the characters are fantastic and the story-line is fun!  Parents will love this book for the same reasons as their kids, but they’ll also find laugh-out-loud passages that carry inside-jokes that only parents of the 80s will get (i.e. Fred Kroger, Jason Borjees, and the spooky aspiring writer, Steven Kingsly).  More than that, though, parents will like this book for the lessons that are hidden within.  In order for the students of Scary School to survive Scream Academy, they’ll have to learn to work together.  There are strong themes of friendship, not judging others by how they look,  and – my favorite – not being afraid to stand up for your friends when they’re being teased or bullied. This is an outstanding book, sure to be loved and read many times over.  I strongly recommend it!
ImaginaryReads More than 1 year ago
There is always drama, excitement, and fear brewing in a scary school. This time, the students learn that six of their own will be chosen to become exchange students to their headmistress's alma mater Scream Academy, where no one expects them to survive. Needless to say, they aren't thrilled about it, and few hope to be chosen to attend. Trouble brews in paradise as Charles gets off to a bad start this school year and finds himself wondering how he can right things. The poor guy. Though he's such a rule stickler, he always finds himself getting into trouble. In this book, he's going to learn something about the rules he loves so much and find out what matters most to him. The way he defeats the big bad guy is hilarious and says something about how he's grown over the course of the series. The plot is much more streamlined than the other two books with Charles taking a prominent role in the story as an ancient prophecy comes to pass. With ominous whispers about a looming danger floating around, the story takes a darker turn as well. There are still some light-hearted moments, but they aren't as frequent as in the earlier books in the series. Nevertheless, I was still greatly entertained with the introduction of new monsters and characters, especially Lattie -- an overly serious ninja girl -- and her pet millipede. As always, I also loved watching the monsters and humans interact. There are great themes in the story for younger readers, such as how it isn't the outside that matters. Every human and monster has potential to realize the scary or greatness within, and seemingly puny weak humans can become popular heroes in a school of monsters. This is a wonderful read for readers of all ages, and I will continue to recommend this series to those who enjoy a good middle-grade read filled with adventure and humor. P.S. After that ending, there had better be a fourth book. Oh Charles, what is going to happen to you this time?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The aurther is something the ghost? Really? What is that all about? Why does this happens when it comes to scary things? This should not happen. All i want to say (i have not read this yet sorryb&n) is that i dont think its good for little kids who wants to read it. It will scared them out or therepants! I think it will ( maybe) be a good book i dont know yet it might be good because i like scary things ( I EVEVN WAS BORN IN OCT.) and it might be good. Bye! :D
RJGonzales More than 1 year ago
Scary School is a series I always look forward to. It's fun, it's fresh, and it includes humorous references to Pop Culture that all ages can get. The third novel in the series, The Northern Frights, has a few of the students of Scary School (Charles NuKid, Petunia Petals, Jason Borhees, Fred Kroger, Wendy Krumpkin and new Ninja student Lattie) attending the Scream Academy as part of an exchange student program for the duration of a week. There they encounter new kinds of creatures and characters and must fight to survive (as always) the harsh perils of a student living in this crazy world. The series is narrated by ex-student turned full-time ghost, Derek, as he chronicles the adventures of his classmates, but it also has brief instances where the thoughts of a character's mind are told. It's a hybrid narrative that merges several different perspectives that takes only a few pages to get used to. The Northern Frights was definitely entertaining, and a wonderful addition to the series. It's humorous, entertaining, though a tad too abrupt in some aspects, even for a middle-grade novel which should usually be fairly fast paced. The first and second, while short as well, seemed to flow well together and here it seemed to jump too quickly. It didn't quite have much of the "all ages" factor here, and stuck mostly to the market of young readers, which is good because that is the central audience this book is geared for, however the older crowd reading as well may get a little frustrated in the parts where it gets too candid and a craving of depth is wanted. For young readers this is a great series. There is ample cognitive stimulation for the intended audience, though it could use a tad more in my opinion, and it presents a unique and fun fantasy world of incredible creatures with equally as entertaining stories. While not my absolute favorite of the series it was still highly enjoyable and perfect to pass the time with and leaves me curious of the next one in the series. I love the author's creative mind and the characters and worlds he's conjured up, and am anxious to see if perhaps he has a young adult/new adult story to tell in the near future as well. Scary School is a great middle-grade series I will continue to recommend and wait for each year! It's cinematic, unique, and has the qualities to make a great film/tv show adaptation as well. With relateable characters acting as great role-models it is definitely one of the best new series for young readers out there! Perfect for those not yet of age for heavier material, or anybody looking for a quick, inspiring read dealing with magic, dragons, and everything in between. *I received a finished copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been waiting for this book im happy but its 10.00$ I wish it was less