Man oh man oh man. I have just finished THE BEST BOOK. And now you all have to hear about it because you’re welcome.
If you have not heard of the middle grade book The House on Creep Street by The Blood Brothers, you are doing yourself a grave disservice. I can honestly say that The House on Creep Street is the best middle grade book I’ve ever read and it’s one of the best I’ve read this year in any genre.
There are several millions of reasons why I love this book but here are a few of the main reasons that I wanted to read this book in the first place. It involves friendship, Halloween, ghosts, hauntings, and urban legends. And that was only the tip of the iceberg.
Let me tell you first, a bit more about the book.
About The House on Creep Street
Twelve-year-old Joey Tonelli is a Halloween fanatic, so when his best friends Kevin and Barry tell him a few days before the spooky holiday that they are “too old” for trick-or-treating, he is devastated. Desperate to get his two killjoy friends into the Halloween spirit, he dares them to go inside that scary abandoned house on Creep Street—the house all the kids in town think is haunted. Well, the kids in town are right: the house really is haunted—by the malevolent ghost of Bob Smah, a young boy who died many years before under mysterious circumstances. Reborn as an angry spirit, Bob is determined to destroy anyone who sets foot in his home.
Despite the horror that Bob unleashes upon The Fright Friends, they become determined to help free the dead boy’s trapped spirit. Will The Fright Friends successfully free Bob Smah from the House on Creep Street, or will they end up as ghosts themselves? Find out for yourself when it all goes down on Halloween night.
There are so many things that this book did right. Let me try and touch on a few by name…
One of my favorite things about this book is it’s subtle and awesome reference to horror things. For example, the boys go to Mary Shelley Middle School. Or a street nearby is Bradbury…which I can only assume is a reference to Ray Bradbury, one of my favorite writers of all time. So, gold star to the Blood Brothers for starting kids off right. Hehe.
Secondly, I applaud the characterization in the story. At first we meet these three friends, Barry, Joey, and Kevin. They’re all different, with different appearances and characterization. And they’re all battling their own issues. Barry is heavier than most kids his age, he’s self-conscious about it, thrives off of being a peacekeeper of the group, but when faced with a choice, he’ll probably side with Kevin (the cool one). Kevin is the piece of the threesome who’s discovering girls and that he’s kind of the cool one of the group. He’s always wearing his lucky blue cap. Joey, of course, is my favorite. He’s a true-blue purveyor of Halloween. He respects it and just wants to trick-or-treat, decorate a house, and properly stuff himself on candy. One of my favorite quotes about him is that “Joey would die before admitting that it [Halloween} wasn’t important.” So naturally, Joey trumps all.
I love the setting. Here, throughout the book, you’ve constantly got leaves swirling, chilly air, and a reminder that it’s Halloween which makes the book so fun to read. It reminded me of reading a Bradbury book. Autumn wind. Dead leaves. It’s like the basic, standard setting for pretty much all of my favorite books.
Though this book is for middle grade readers, I think the Blood Brothers are talented in their diction and voice and I absolutely applaud their writing style. Here’s a line that I really loved. I found their writing to be eloquent and still easy to understand for all ages. Check out one of my favorite excerpts below where they describe the old, creaking house down the street…
The House on Creep Street is for anyone. Yes. Anyone.
Your mom, sister, brother, friends, children, nieces, nephews, dogs, cats, rats, and even frenemies. The smart wit and humor in this book make it enjoyable for any age.
The surprising twists and turns make it a fun, quick read for adults and children alike. And I guarantee that you’ll love these characters. I sure did. I’m sure you will too.
I cannot wait to check out the rest of the series from The Blood Brothers!
I give this 5 out of 5 happy haunts.
What fantastic middle grade books are you reading? Let me know in the comments below. And if you’ve read The House on Creep Street, I’d love to hear your thoughts below!