The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud (2013)

Action-palockwoodcked, legitimately scary, and distinctly British.

Recommended grade level: 5 and up

Pages:   390 (for ISBN 9781423164913)

Genre(s) and keywords: horror, mystery

Tone/Style: scary, dark

Pace: moderate to fast

Topics: ghosts, psychic powers, agencies

Themes: young people vs. adults, self-reliance, guilt

Summary: There is an epidemic of ghosts in Britain. Their touch brings death, and only children have the power to fight them.

Lucy Carlyle, a young psychic investigator, joins London’s smallest agency, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood and his ever-hungry assistant  George Cubbins. Together the trio must investigate some of the spookiest and deadliest spectral hauntings in the city, armed only with the tools of the ghost-hunting trade (magnesium flares, iron filings, chains and salt bombs), their courage and a thermos of tea.

Ghosts and ghouls beware!

 

Who will like this book?: Fans of supernatural horror who aren’t afraid of a story that veers into the grotesque.

Who won’t like this book?: Some readers will find it distrbing. There is a LOT of blood. (Disembodied blood, but still.)

Sequel(s): Lockwood & Co. series: The Whispering Skull (2014), The Hollow Boy (2015), The Creeping Shadow (2016), The Empty Grave (2017)

-Kylie Peters

Image credit: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17428653-the-screaming-staircase

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