House of Dark Shadows
(Dreamhouse Kings, Book One)
by Robert Liparulo
Thomas Nelson, Inc.
286 pages, with reading group guide
Xander King is not happy to be leaving his friends in Pasadena and moving to a small "hicksville" town in the mountains of northern California. His father has taken a new position--principal of Pinedale High School. The King family buys a creepy, abandoned Victorian house in a heavily wooded rural area. Soon, as expected, even creepier things begin to happen. Giant footprints are left in the dust. There are strange voices and creaky noises; things go bump in the night. Victoria, Xander's little sister, sees a huge intruder standing in her room.
Xander and his brother David discover a closet that has a secret portal. They step into the portal and out of a locker--in the hallway of Pinedale High School. Other portals lead to much more dangerous destinations.
Xander's dad has a secret, and when Xander discovers what it is, it threatens the safety of the entire family.
Part scary, spooky thriller, part strange, twister killer mystery, part time travel sci-fi genre, this debut YA novel will appeal to readers of spooky stuff like Mary Downing Hahn and lovers of Anthony Horowitz's Horowitz Horror.
Recommended for reluctant readers, grades 5-9 and anyone who enjoys creepy old houses. Book Two is Watcher in the Woods and now available.