01 April 2015
Hellison, Cat. Beastkeeper. Henry Holt & Co, 2015.
Sarah's family moves all the time, but this time it was Sarah's mom who left and the family who stayed. After a while, Sarah's father said he needed to go to "a special hospital" and dropped Sarah off with her grandmother who lives in a spooky old mansion in the middle of nowhere with no internet and no electricity. Stranger still, Sarah finds herself bound in a family curse that will continue to haunt her and the generations after her unless she can find a way to stop it.
This book was delightfully spooky. The atmospheric details are what give this book its fairy-tale-gone-wrong feel. With surprisingly little violence or other red flags, this book would be an excellent suggestion for kids who want to read scary books but aren't quite ready for adult themes. It could also make a good classroom read-aloud.
Recommended for: middle grade, tweens, teens; Sarah is in 7th grade, but this book could easily appeal to adults as well
Red Flags: minor violence (some characters are creatures who happen to be carnivores, so they kill smaller animals to eat); one character drinks brandy
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars
Read-Alikes: The Darkest Part of the Forest; The Sisters Grimm, The Night Gardener