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School of Fear (School of Fear Series #1)

School of Fear (School of Fear Series #1)

4.5 209
by Gitty Daneshvari, Emma Walton Hamilton (Read by)

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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


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.

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
"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)

Product Details

Hachette Audio
Publication date:
School of Fear Series , #1
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 5.75(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years


Meet the Author

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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School of Fear (School of Fear Series #1) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 209 reviews.
ultimatepercyfan More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A gripping book that caucht my attention. It's really good and I love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have this book at home. It is very good. I loved it. I will read it all day. I am on the last chapter which is really good. They enter the scary castle and they have to live there. They got rid of their teacher and the teacher casts a spell on them so they have to live there and they didn't know that their little sister was coming along so they have to work together to find their way out. They didn't like to have their sister around so they had a hard time trying to figure out how to get out. Uh oh I said too much. I gotta finish my test before they find me texting on here. LATER ALLIGATER!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book!!!!! You should definitely read it!! In fact read the whole series. There are 3 books: School of fear, School of Fear 2, and School of Fear 3 Class Dismissed! I read all of them in 7th grade but I reccommend it for 6th graders and above. There are some high vocabulary words so wouldn't really reccommend it to anything lower than that. Anyway, I DEFINITELY reccommend this book and it is also suprisingly funny in some parts!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although there are parents that this book is wierd and innapropriate, think again this book is not innapropriate and is kid friendly.
Ripped-Off-by-bn More than 1 year ago
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?
Kam Bullard More than 1 year ago
My students liked it but much of the language was above their level. A bit wordy but cute.
BSeeg More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like Lulu the best :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book iz beter than the"Deez Nuts" vine and i havent even read it yet
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sorry, I accedently posted. Ill finish my reveiw. Then there is Garreth ( i am sorry if thats not his name. I avent read it in awhile.) Hes afraid of swimming. Then, Lulu (my personal favorite) and she is claustrophobic. Finally theres Theodore and he has a fear of death. This is a great book and i love it. PS to Hi Yes it is good, but please dont give it a one star reveiw. It hurts the books rating and you shouldnt rate anything good or bad if you havent tried it. Ask your friend what its about. Or read it. Just dont give anything a bad rating if you dont know what it is. Thank You.
katherinehofmann3 More than 1 year ago
 School of Fear is a book written for all ages. It&rsquo;s a refreshing story about an adventure that 4 children with different phobias take. Everyone is afraid of something; Madeleine Masterson is deathly afraid of bugs, Theodore Bartholomew is petrified of dying, Lulu Punchalower is scared of confined spaces, and Garrison Feldman is terrified of deep water. These kids lived in fear their whole lives and were consumed by it.  Madeleine had a fear of spiders and bugs that created a barrier for her to enjoy life. Madeline had to have rooms fumigated for insects before she could enter. Theodore couldn&rsquo;t enjoy anything because he was too busy worrying about his family and their health statuses. Lulu had panic attacks in public places especially in public bathroom stalls and Garrison, living on the coast had to lie and hide from his friends because he didn&rsquo;t want anyone to know about his fear. These children are all sent to the School of Fear where they are expected to conquer there fears. When they get to the school they meet Mrs. Wellington, a former beauty queen who is obsessed with big hair and lip gloss, and is the owner and teacher at the school. As school days pass by, the kids wonder if they will ever conquer their fears since they spent their entire summer learning beauty techniques. In mid-summer Maunchauser, Wellington&rsquo;s lawyer arrives. Mrs. Wellington and Maunchauser get into a fight and Wellington dies later that day. She leaves her great fortune to her beloved dog, Mac. Maunchauser kidnapped the dog. Schimidty, the entrusted butler, leaves his faith in the children to rescue Mac. Will the children rise to the occasion and conquer their fears to rescue Mac?                        Personally I loved this book, the author, Gitty Daneshvari has such a different writing style. He writes old fashioned but incorporates modern day slang. The characters in this book are all very unique and different, all with a different point of view or comment to add. While reading this book I felt like I was in the story, riding along for the journey. I give this book a 10/10 and I would recommend this book to anyone ages eleven and up. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Very high in vocabulary!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its not scary the cover looks scary but its not read the sample if you dare to try it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago