Don't Read This Book Before Bed: Thrills, Chills, and Hauntingly True Stories

144p. photos. National Geographic. Aug. 2017. lib. ed. $24.90. ISBN 9781426328428; pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781426328411.
Gr 5–8—Bypass the clickbait-esque title and instead head for the fascinating introduction that covers the book's contents and gives a nifty explanation about why people sometimes like to be scared. Each spread that follows—filled with National Geographic's signature high-quality photography—covers a specific topic and provides a great jumping off point for kids who want to learn more. Stories about the Nazca Lines in Peru and "creeps of the deep" will provoke interest and push further investigation. The layouts are refreshing in their simplicity; clutter is often symptomatic of this genre. Instead, each topic contains an introductory paragraph and then boxed paragraphs filling in the details. Vocabulary words are explained within the text. A "Fright-o-meter" on each subject lets readers know how much of a thrill or chill to expect: the migration of monarch butterflies rates just a one, while a discussion on the parasites underneath skin goes all the way up to 10 (as it should). Rounding out the book is a table of contents and a number of interesting quizzes.
VERDICT A good purchase for middle schoolers who like to indulge in the mysterious and creepier side of life.

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