Mister Shivers: Beneath the Bed and Other Scary Stories written by Max Brallier, illustrated by Letizia Rubegni, 56 pp, RL 2

Mister Shivers: Beneath the Bed 
and Other Scary Stories 
written by Max Brallier
illustrated by Letizia Rubegni
Purchased from Barnes & Noble 
This book, the first in a series, hits all the right notes for me! Written by Max Brallier (see below for his other series), these stories are illustrated by Italian Letizia Rubegni with the exact right amount of old school grimness and are populated by diverse characters with appropriately popping-out-terrified eyes. I wish I could find more of Rubegni's illustrations to share with you here, but be sure to visit her Instagram feed to see more of her superb art. Having read copious amounts of kidlit, I truly believe that writing a good scary story, along with writing a good mystery, are among the most challenging genres to get right for young readers and Brallier gets it just right!

Mister Shivers: Beneath the Bed and Other Stories is a deliciously creepy collection of 5 stories that begins with a "Letter to the Reader" that details the mysterious origin of these tales and the strange objects that arrived with them - a dead mouse, a tree branch, a doll's eye, a piece of an old quilt an a toy's rusty head - all of which, sharp readers will see, are elements of the stories within.  Brallier gives readers suspense, thrills and chills, all without gore, violence or malice. 

From a glowing eyed, talking doll to a haunted statue, mistreated and vengeful toys and the (disgusting) dangers of sleeping with your mouth open, this book is guaranteed to entertain! I have read them out loud to first and second graders and read along as first and second graders go it alone. And, despite the fact that most of my students regularly are shown R rated horror movies by their parents, they were engaged and did not criticize the stories for not being scary. Best of all, this is a series! Keep your eye out for book number 2.

 More by Max Brallier!

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