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Book Review: Scareground by Angela Kecojevic

A spooky but delightful story for the young and the young at heart

By Marie SinadjanPublished 7 months ago 3 min read
2

Are you ready for the unexpected? The extraordinary? The daring? Roll up, roll up, the Scareground is in town!

Be punctual! Be prepared! Are you ready to be scared?

Twelve-year-old Nancy Crumpet lives above a bakery and her life is a delightful mix of flour, salt, and love. Yet her mind is brimming with questions no one can answer: Why did her birth parents disappear? Why can she speak with the sky? And why must she keep her mysterious birthmark hidden?

Everything is about to change when the Scareground returns to Greenwich. Nancy is convinced it holds the answers to her parents’ disappearance. Nancy and her best friend Arthur Green meet the fair’s spooky owner, Skelter, and discover a world full of dark magic and mystery. Nancy must confront her greatest fears to get to the truth. But is she ready for all the secrets the Scareground will reveal?

GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy

PURCHASE LINKS: Amazon | Neem Tree Press

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Angela is a senior librarian and a creative writing tutor, tutoring children in the States, Australia and the UK. She has written for the Oxford Reading Tree programme, which are a diverse collection of spooky, adventure, comedy and climate change stories that will be out in 2024/2025. (One of them is The Laughing Shepherd.) She's also written for the Marija Kotri Foundation, promoting creative arts in Montenegro and railway safety.

She is also the author behind the multi award-winning adventure park Hobbledown. Her characters can be seen walking around the park, something she still finds incredibly charming! She is a member of the Climate Writers Fiction League, a group of international authors who use climate issues in their work. Scareground is her debut spine-tingling middle-grade novel. She studied the craft of creating suspense, watching clips from R. L. Stine and Alfred Hitchcock movies, who she considers the masters of suspense.

Angela lives in Oxford with her family (by the river) and quite a few geese. She loves spooky things, Christmas and Halloween, and helping children create exciting worlds in their stories.

Review

It's September, and the start of autumn, which means spooky season is upon us — and what better way to welcome it than this delightful read for the young and the young at heart? (And maybe pumpkin goodies. The Crumpets being bakers kept me hungry all while reading this book, haha!)

Scareground, the name of the fair that's the centerpoint of the story, is as spooky as it sounds. It's a cross between what I knew back in the Philippines as a horror booth, and a carnival. It's an excellent backdrop for the adventure 12-year-old Nancy, the protagonist, (and her best friend Arthur) finds herself getting into, though the story's more than just spooks and scares. It's a coming-of-age tale, and also one of family and friendship, which are elements I really like about Middle Grade books.

The characters are also particularly delightful, the sort you'd want to befriend (okay but maybe not all of them, haha!). I likewise enjoyed the thing Nancy had with the sky, though I don't want to spoil so I won't say anything more. Plus, there are illustrations at the start of every chapter, and a map, and they just add to the appeal.

If you're into mystery and magic, and don't mind reading a book with a young protagonist — or, even better, if you're looking for something to read with your kid or niece or nephew or someone's child — here's one that's really fitting this time of the year!

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️️

RecommendationReview
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About the Creator

Marie Sinadjan

Filipino spec fic author and book reviewer based in the UK. https://linktr.ee/mariesinadjan • www.mariesinadjan.com

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Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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  • Anita Loughrey7 months ago

    Lovely review.

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