Book Review – Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase

Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase
by Jonathan Stroud
(Doubleday Children’s Books, 2013)

At a Glance

Category/Genre(s):

Middle grade horror mystery

Age Range:

8-12

Plot Summary:

“A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city, and they aren’t exactly friendly. Only young people have the psychic abilities required to see-and eradicate-these supernatural foes.

After an assignment leads to both a grisly discovery and a disastrous end, Lucy, Anthony, and their sarcastic colleague, George, are forced to take part in the perilous investigation of Combe Carey Hall, one of the most haunted houses in England.

Will Lockwood & Co. survive the Hall’s legendary Screaming Staircase and Red Room to see another day?

Strengths:

  • Strong voice
  • Excellent storytelling
  • Perfect amount of spook factor
  • mystery within a mystery

Full Review

The Lockwood & Co. series has been sitting on my TBR for ages and ages. Now that I have read The Screaming Staircase, I sincerely regret having waited so long! This book was fantastic. I am very picky with my first person narratives. I am not sure why, but it is really easy for me to get pulled out of the story by a 1st person POV. But that was not the case here. Lucy’s voice is strong, plucky and fun.

The storytelling and world building is just as strong. Stroud has created a modern day London that feels (because of incidents in the book) very much like old London. I like that this story has the main objective/mystery, but there is also some other mystery tangled up in there as well. Stroud does a great job of keeping everything in line and allowing the reader to figure things out right along with the characters.

I am always on the look out for a good, appropriately spooky read, especially in middle grade. Lockwood & Co. is the perfect read-under-the-covers-with-a-flashlight book.

Final Verdict

If you are looking for an excellent gothic mystery for kids, this is the book for you! Highly recommend.

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