Wednesday Review – Babysitting Nightmares: The Phantom Hour

Babysitting Nightmares: The Phantom Hour
written by Kat Shepherd
illustrated by Rayanne Vieira
(Imprint, 2019)

At a Glance

Category/Genre(s):

Middle Grade Horror

Age Range:

8-11

Plot Summary:

“The supernatural never sleeps in the second book of this spooky middle grade series!

“Clio has already had one brush with the paranormal, and she’s dead set on making it her last.But her new babysitting job is in a haunted house! At first, Clio’s excited to work at the historical Victorian mansion in town—until doors start closing behind her, objects move on their own, and messages appear from beyond the grave.

“Clio enlists the help of her three best friends, Tanya, Maggie, and Rebecca, to uncover long-buried secrets from the past. Can Clio face her fear and solve the mystery of the haunted mansion?” (Source)

Strengths:

  • Great starter book for a kid who wants to read something creepy
  • Girl power!
  • Fun, straightforward story

Full Review

Sometimes, it feels like middle grade horror books are targeted at reluctant-reader boys. I was thrilled that the Babysitting Nightmares series features an all girl cast. Don’t get me wrong-I am a firm believer in the fact that there is no such thing as “books for girls” or “books for boys,” but that is a topic for another post.

I read the first in this series a few months back and enjoyed it enough to pick up the sequel. I will say that I think that I enjoyed The Phantom Hour just a little bit more. I like how each book has a new girl as the protagonist. I would assume that there will be at least four books in the series so that we’ll get to read a story from each of the four girls.

I also like the various settings in this world. We do occasionally get a scene or two at school, but the vast majority takes place away from it. We have Clio’s eccentric curio shop, the haunted Victorian mansion, and even a spooky forest scene. Kat Shepherd does a great job of setting the mood through scene description while not bogging things down with too many details.

The Phantom Hour is a great all around read for anyone wanting to dip a toe into the horror genre. The friendship dynamic will also be appealing to this age group. Definitely recommend.

Final Verdict

If you are a fan of Babysitter’s Club and are looking for something a little bit spooky, this book is for you.

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