Poblacki, Dan. The Gathering. (Shadow House series, #1) Scholastic, 2016. $12.99 ISBN 9780545925501. 215 pgs. Ages 8-12. P7 Q8.
Poppy is looking for family. Marcus is looking for a music academy. Azumi is trying to escape the memory of her lost sister. Dash and Dylan are looking for a new acting opportunity. All have been invited to the Delphinium House. Once the huge doors close behind them, the disparate group of teens quickly realize that the only dreams that will come true in these halls are their nightmares. As they discover long-hidden secrets, they are pursued by a group of mysterious, ghostly children wearing creepy animal masks. Each teen must figure out how to fight the spooky apparitions if they are ever to escape.
This creepy adventure will capture the imagination of your horror-loving middle schooler from the first chapter. The adventure is fast-paced and just creepy enough for teens. The characters are relatable and the storyline is exciting enough to keep the pages turning. As an added bonus, the book’s pictures are connected to an augmented reality app that readers can download to unlock extra chapters with short video gifs to add to the reading adventure. Be sure to purchase the sequel as well!
January 2017 review by Sudi Stodola.