What Lives in the Woods

Sourcebooks. Sept. 2021. 320p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781728209753; pap. $7.99. ISBN 9781728245720.
Gr 4 Up–This suspenseful tale is yet another horror offering from Currie, whose protagonists are equally in love with books and mysteries. Ginny Anderson hears from her parents that their family is packing up and moving out for a monthlong retreat in Michigan, which means missing a highly anticipated mystery writer’s workshop and leaving her friend Erica and their summertime plans behind. Her father is entrusted with the renovation of a legendary spooky mansion in Saugatuck on Lake Michigan, and her parents, Ginny, and her brother Leo find themselves in the heart of haunted happenings. Almost immediately, Agatha Christie–obsessed Ginny begins to witness moving objects, faces in the mirror, and shadows in the house’s ballroom. Thankfully, Ginny enlists her brother and new friend Will in solving the curse of Woodmoor Manor, giving readers a succinct detective story and bantering dialogue for the paranormal-enthused. Currie serves up an appropriately tween horror story in staccato chapters with plenty of goosebumps.
VERDICT A suggested purchase for upper elementary and middle school libraries with students interested in scary stories, and a natural step-up for those reading “Five Nights at Freddy’s.” Currie provides a genuinely creepy tale that begins with literary jump-scares and evolves into a decades-old historical mystery.

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