THE DOGS by Allan Stratton

Cameron and his mom have been on the run for five years. His father is hunting them. At least, that’s what Cameron’s been told. When they settle in an isolated farmhouse, Cameron starts to see and hear things that aren’t possible. Soon he’s questioning everything he thought he knew and even his sanity. What’s hiding in the night? Buried in the past? Cameron must uncover the dark secrets before they tear him apart.

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Influenced by his own past, author Allan Stratton discloses his personal connection to the book’s themes in the included Q+A.  Heavy themes like: domestic abuse, bullying, and mental health issues are portrayed throughout this eerie, teen thriller.

After moving in, Cameron quickly realizes that the creepy (just look at that front cover!), isolated farmhouse has a strange history. As a reader, it was easy to be immediately hooked by the mystery of the farmhouse, and like Cameron, I was curious to uncover the truth. The plot moves at warp speed; especially when Cameron makes one little mistake and sets of a frightening chain of events!

More praise:

“It’s about ghosts and terrifying danger and going mad all at once. I didn’t know what was real and what was imagined until the very last page. I loved it!” —Melvin Burgess, author of Carnegie Medal winner Junk

“It is increasingly rare to find genuine, convincing narratives that have us looking over our shoulders. The Dogs is such a narrative…What would it be like if the most frightening thing in your world lay at the heart of your own family? Stratton imagines this horror full and convincingly.” —Quill & Quire, starred review

Kristy’s Great Idea (The Baby-Sitters Club) based on the novel by Ann M. Martin by Raina Telgemeier

Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are best friends and founding members of The Baby-sitters Club. Whatever comes up — cranky toddlers, huge dogs, scary neighbors, prank calls — you can count on them to save the day. But baby-sitting isn’t always easy, and neither is dealing with strict parents, new families, fashion emergencies, and mysterious secrets. But no matter what, the BSC have what they need most: friendship.

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I few weeks back, I received an advanced reading copy of the new FULL COLOUR EDITION of Kristy’s Great Idea. Too bad mine (being a proof) was mostly black and white (but hey- I can imagine the awesomeness). It was totally a nostalgic read to re-live these characters’ stories. And the best part? All their issues (divorce, diabetes, etc.) are still relevant today.

As one of the most popular series ever published, it makes sense to be re-created as a graphic novel. Raina’s illustrations are spot on, and I enjoyed the change up between panel and full page drawings. If you loved the series as a kid, or introducing it for the first time, the author/illustrator combo of Kristy’s Great Idea is perfect.

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