By M.P. Kozlowsky, 2011
Middle grade, Horror, Paranormal, Fantasy
Rating: 👻👻👻👻 (4 out of 4 boos)
“Juniper Berry's parents are the most beloved actor and actress in the world—but Juniper can't help but feel they haven't been quite right lately. And she and her friend Giles are determined to find out why.
On a cold and rainy night, Juniper follows her parents as they sneak out of the house and enter the woods. What she discovers is an underworld filled with contradictions: one that is terrifying and enticing, lorded over by a creature both sinister and seductive, who can sell you all the world's secrets bound in a balloon. For the first time, Juniper and Giles have a choice to make. And it will be up to them to confront their own fears in order to save the ones who couldn't."
What’s the main character like?
Juniper Berry is a young girl with fond memories of her parents. As readers, we get a wonderful sense of who she is through her reminiscing about family pizza night, snowball fights, and so much more. Then through her heroic actions to help others, we get a very strong sense of what a brave person she is. All in all, she’s a fun character with a kind heart who happens to be going through something very, very terrible.
How scary is it?
This is a sweet story, but also...it’s pretty creepy for a kid’s book! Some of the descriptions involving Juniper’s parents going through some changes verge on gruesome, and thinking of a kid like Juniper Berry having to witness this is upsetting. While I still consider the book kid-friendly, I also think it’s not for kids who are sensitive to spooky things.
Who might like this book?
What did I like best?
I love how disturbing this short-and-sweet book is, in spite of being a kid’s book. Adults do not always make the right choices, and in this twisted tale, it is the child who must save the day. Great scenario! Also, the whole thing about balloons (I won’t spoil it, though) is very creative on the author’s part.
What wasn’t my favorite?
Can’t think of anything off the top of my head, so I’ll just leave it at that!