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Author: B G Hennessey

Illustrator: Erwin Madrid

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Candlewick Press,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Visit a number of scary places like Transylvania and Nightmare House as you use the maps and detailed instructions found in this book. As you maneuver your way through each place on the map you’ll have to avoid various pitfalls while trying to locate special objects. This is an interactive picture book for upper elementary and middle grade readers.

Type of Reading: independent reading, read aloud book, reluctant reader, remedial reader, interactive reading

Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 12; read yourself: 10 and up

Interest Level: 5 to 10

Reading Level: 5.1

Age of Child: Read with a 6-year-old boy.

Young Reader Reaction: Although he liked the artwork, the child I gave this book to had to have adult help to figure out what to do and how to use the map and instructions.

Adult Reader Reaction: I liked the idea of teaching a youngster how to use a map by giving him a set of instructions.

Pros: Kids will enjoy the spookiness of some of these places and "visiting" them.

Cons: I’m not sure a child can handle this book without assistance from an adult.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. Spooky is always a good lure for kids (especially boys). They may need help going through the book the first time or two, but they will come back to make the treks on their own, too.

If You Liked This Book, Try: 100 PUZZLES, CLUES, MAPS, TANTALIZING TALES, AND STORIES OF REAL TREASURE; A PICTURE BOOK COMPANION   CHARTING THE WORLD: Geography and Maps from Cave Paintings to GPS with 21 Activities   THE KINGFISHER ATLAS OF WORLD HISTORY: A Pictorial Guide to the World’s People and Events, 10000BCE-Present

Educational Themes: This would be a good book to pull out in October as a way to engage kids with maps and coordinates when "spooky" is on their mind, but it is useful all year long. It would be a good way to inspire kids to create their own map to a "spooky" place.

Notes: Bob Walch, Monterey, California, sent us this review. Bob's reviews appear in the Salinas Californian, Watsonville Register-Pajaronian, Aptos Times, Ride/Western Times and Coast Views Magazine. His online reviews can be found at MyShelf, Roundtable Reviews, Parent Click, Midwest Book Review, and I Love a Mystery.

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - picture book, maps, geography, interactive learning

Date(s) Reviewed: October 2012

Other Reviews: See Critics Reviews at; and reader feedback at


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