Title: Graveyard School #17 – Jack and the Beanstalker, a.k.a. “Jude Deluca’s ‘Graveyard School Theater’”
Author: Tom B. Stone, a.k.a. Nola Thacker, a.k.a. D.E.
Cover Artist: Mark Nagata
Summary: Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum! Now The Giant Is Going To Have
Jackson needs to earn some money – fast. When he mows old
Mr. Thompson’s lawn, that’s what he thinks he’s going to get. Right? Wrong! Mr.
Thompson pays Jackson with magic beans! Now Jackson’s back to square one, and
when he throws the beans out the window, his money troubles don’t seem so big
Hello, I’m Jude Deluca and I’m doing an impersonation of
Shelley DuVall. Welcome to “Graveyard School Theater.”
Many of us know that money can either be a source of great
happiness, or the cause of great trouble. But unfortunately, tonight’s tale
shows us that in Jackson Crowder’s case, it’s the latter. Come with me as we
see how Jax finds himself in one harrowing situation after another, when
something as simple as a broken window grows out of control into a problem of,
shall we say, gigantic proportions.
Ladies and gentlemen, “Jack and the Beanstalker.”
[Wing: I’m so glad to see another recap of this series, because I still find it delightful, even though I never would have guessed how much I would love it back in the beginning.]
The Magic School Bus Has A Midlife Crisis
Title: Graveyard School #14 – The Tragic School Bus, a.k.a. “Skip Wolfson in: ‘Screaming Yellow Honkers’”
Author: Tom B. Stone, a.k.a. Nola Thacker, a.k.a. D.E. Athkins
Cover Artist: Cam DeLeon
Summary: The Next Stop May Be Skip’s Last…
Skip Wolfson can’t believe he almost missed the bus again! One more late morning and he’ll be in big trouble at Graveyard School. But as he walks down the aisle to find a seat, something tells Skip that he got on the wrong bus. The unbelievably wrong bus. Is it because the driver looks like a skeleton? Or is it that the other passengers seem to have been dug up out of a grave? Skip finds himself wishing for detention instead. Anything but a one-way trip to the terminal of the undead!
I referenced this book last year in my recap of “Boo Year’s Eve” when Jordie Flanders brings up Skip’s fear of buses. And now has come the day when we learn how that fear started.
Not one of my favorite books but I’m sure Wing’s gonna love it because it features the return of Skip Wolfson as the protagonist! And to that end, because this has one of the funniest scenes in the entire series, I’ve prepared a little something extra as a gift to Point Horror.
The amazing thing about this book is that it can be viewed as a follow-up to “Little Pet Werewolf” without being a direct sequel. Thacker works in sly nods to Skip’s previous role as the main character without blatantly spoiling the last book.
[Wing: SKIP! I love you, Skip!]
Continue reading »
Title: Graveyard School #12 – “Scream, Team!” a.k.a. “The Bad News Belville Bears”
Summary: Belville Bears 13
Grove Hill Tigers 0
They’re big. They’re mean. They’re ugly. And they’re totally killing the Graveyard School Tigers. The Belville Bears used to be the worst soccer team in the universe. But now they’ve gotten good. Wicked good. Unnaturally good. Tyson Walker knows something is wrong. But can he stop the new monster team before they turn the Tigers into kitty litter.
We have our first non-skateboard related sporting book in the series. And it’s got an all-star cast! Tyson! Algie! Kirstin! Skip! Maria! And Jason Dunnbarr who is surprisingly a lot nicer than he was in his first appearance!
“Scream, Team” offers more world building to the land of Grove Hill by introducing us to Belville Academy and giving us a better grasp of the land beyond Graveyard School. I referred to this book in my introduction post by mentioning how this is such a refreshing change of pace to sports tales. It really enforces ideas about healthy sportsmanship, and that parents who scream and rave about their kids always winning is NOT the right way to raise a child.
Here’s hoping you guys enjoy this more than Nola Thacker’s other “Scream Team” novel.
It’s Dr. Morthouse… TO THE X-TREEEEEEEEEME!!!
Title: Graveyard School #11 – April Ghouls’ Day, a.k.a. “Maria and Morty’s Totally Awesome Adventure”
Cover Artist: Barry Jackson
Summary: Invasion Of The Body Snatchers!
Maria Medina’s not quite sure how it happened. One minute she was just another student at Graveyard School, trying to make it through the first day of April. Then suddenly someone – somehow – set her up in a gruesome body switch.
Now the principal, Dr. Morthouse, is acting really weird – but not as strange as Maria. Body, body, who’s got whose body? On April Fools’ Day, no one is safe at Graveyard School.
This has never been one of my favorites, but it’s not as bad as “Let’s Scare The Teacher To Death” was. This is definitely the funniest book in the series, and the only time Maria Medina gets to be the main character. It also sheds the most spotlight on Dr. Morthouse, who tends to lurk in the background most of the time.
My main complaint is this doesn’t really do justice for Vickie Wheilson’s character.
[Wing: That’s a shame, but I do love body swap stories, so I’m excited for this one!]
Blob Loves Thing, Pass It On
Title: Graveyard School #10 – There’s a Ghost in the Boys’ Bathroom, a.k.a. “Okay seriously, who the fuck is watching the door? How did a ghost get in here?”
Summary: Is Graveyard School Going Down The Drain?
Toilets exploding! Paper towels floating in midair! Disappearing soap! There’s no doubt Graveyard School is haunted. But why did this ghost choose the boys’ bathroom, of all places? A few determined students are ready for a ghost hunt? Can they flush it out?
This. This is where it all began for me. A chance purchase at a grade school book sale that evolved into devotion to one of the best and grossly underrated horror series of all time.
For most of the last couple of decades I only put this book in a special place because it was the first I acquired, even though it wasn’t really my favorite. I used to think Alex, the main character, was one of the blander protagonists. However, re-reads over the years have changed my opinion and this is one of the most action packed entries I can think of. And I’m impressed by how much Alex is willing to buckle down when other people are in danger.
[Wing: This series is a blast, and I can’t believe I missed it growing up.]
He’s still not as scary as Michael Keaton
Title: Graveyard School #9 – The Abominable Snow Monster, a.k.a. “Where’s Global Warming When You Need It?”
Cover Artist: Came DeLeon
Summary: There Must Have Been Some Magic…
Kyle’s convinced – he’s created a monster! But what else is there to do when Grove Hill gets hit with thirteen snow storms?
Now his sinister snowman is on the loose, and Kyle has to figure out a way to melt him down. If Kyle fails, the snow monster is sure to go on a rampage – and he won’t be a jolly happy soul!
Nothing puts you in the mood for summer than a nice story about a killer snowman. It’s interesting to me that Kyle Chilton would only be the main character in two books that are both about winter, but the placement is odd because I have to believe this takes place AFTER “Here Comes Santa Claws.” The book explicitly ends during the last few days of winter when spring is around the corner. For some reason, online bookstores like Amazon made it sound like “Here Comes Santa Claws” was a sequel to this book, even though it’s NOT. There’s mention of a great aunt’s funeral, but it definitely didn’t sound like Mab’s.
So take your mind off the July weather by imagining all the trimmings of winter. Roaring fires in the hearth, delicious mugs of piping hot chocolate, thick wool socks on your feet, plush and cuddly quilts and comforters to keep you nice and toasty, and the sound of hot radiator steam fogging your windows.
[Wing: You son of a bitch.]
Title: Graveyard School #8 – “Let’s Scare the Teacher to Death!” a.k.a. “Teaching Ms. Cheevy”
Author: Tom B. Stone, a.k.a. Nola Thacker, a.k.a. “D.E. Athkins”
Cover Artist: Barry Jackon (US Cover), ???? (Russian Cover), ???? (UK Cover)
UK Tagline: It’s Miss-terious!!
Summary: But We Were Only Joking!
Mrs. Cheevy, the new math teacher at Graveyard School, is totally paranoid! She’s always looking over her shoulder, her voice continually quavers during math lessons, and she jumps when anyone asks a question. This makes her the perfect target for class clown Bentley Jeste, and soon all the kids get in on the act. Math has never been more hilarious, until one day a practical joker goes too far. Could Mrs. Cheevy’s second-period class have scared her to death?
The proportions on the US cover have always bothered me, because how much space is there between the desk and the chalkboard?
This is not one of my favorites in the series, but it’s more that I’m conflicted on how exactly I should be feeling on it. It’s the only book besides the first one that doesn’t have anything supernatural in it, but it’s interesting. It’s a rare event where we get to see things from the “Antagonist’s” point of view and learn their feelings on the situation, yet it’s hard for me to decide if there really IS an antagonist in this book.
Both sides of the conflict give as good as they get, and it’s like the equivalent of going to a race track to watch for car crashes instead of rooting for one particular side. Although, I’ll be real here, had I read this book before “Boo Year’s Eve” and “Escape from Vampire Park” I doubt Jordie Flanders would’ve become one of my faves.
Fair warning Wing, there’s a joke involving a rubber spider.
[Wing: Thanks for the warning!]
Title: Graveyard School #13 – Tales Too Scary To Tell At Camp, a.k.a. “1001 Graveyard School Nights”
Cover Artist: Cam De Leon (U.S. Cover), ???? (Lithuanian Cover)
Summary: Warning: Don’t Read This Book In Your Bunk!
These thirteen chilling stories will send you screaming for cover. From howling heads to shrieking stalkers to larger-than-life lice – read about the unnatural, the bizarre, and – worst of all – the unexplained.
Stay near the campfire. The scariest creatures of all might be right behind you!
As thanks for putting up with my depression last month, I’ve chosen to do recaps focusing on some of my favorite books which means another short break from the chronological order. I just wish I had some commissions to add to this one.
“Tales Too Scary” is special in the Graveyard School series because it’s the only entry that’s an anthology of stories. Unlike the “Tales To Give You Goosebumps” books, this one has a framing story encompassing the first and last chapters, and a features an eclectic grouping of the GS cast including my favorite, Jordie “The Human Computer” Flanders. The situation’s a cross between “Hansel and Gretel” and “1001 Arabian Nights” which of course captured my interest right away.
One of the stories is interesting because it’s told in three parts by three different storytellers.
You wanna believe I began the draft for this last year after I was officially made a recapper by Wing? I couldn’t wait to share this with all of you.
Also, I simply had to include the Lithuanian adaption’s cover artwork because I can’t tell if it’s horrible or amazing.
As a head’s up Wing, there IS a story with bugs, but it doesn’t include spiders.
[Wing: Thanks for the head’s up. I personally adore the Lithuanian cover, though that doesn’t really answer the whole horrible or amazing question, because either, both, whatever, I would still adore it.]
Title: Graveyard School #23 – The Easter Egg Haunt, a.k.a. “Here Comes Peter Cottontail, Hoping Down The MUUUUUUUURDER Trail”
Summary: How Do You Like Your Easter Eggs? Fried, Scrambled, Or… Screaming?
It’s time for Easter and the annual Grove Hill Easter Egg Hunt. David Pike is taking his younger brother, weird Richie. Richie is excited, but for David it’s usually one big yawn.
But then David finds out that the egg hide-and-seek will be held at Graveyard School. An Easter egg hunt near a graveyard? This year, Easter will be more egg-citing than it’s cracked up to be!
We’re having another short break from the chronological order again, but for a good reason!
Because I felt like that.
This month, as most of you might know, Easter and April Fool’s Day fell on the same day. If anyone remembers the list of Graveyard School books, there was also an entry called “April Ghoul’s Day.” Between this and that, I chose “The Easter Egg Haunt,” and I will not be saving “April Ghoul’s Day” for next year. That one’s going up in September as part of the chronological order. I do NOT celebrate April Fool’s Day anymore, for reasons I’m going to shed light on this month in my other recaps.
Guys seriously though, this isn’t a joke if you expect to click the read more link and it takes you to a jump scare or gag post or something.
This month we’re seeing the triumphant return of David and Richie Pike from “Revenge of the Dinosaurs,” and yes Richie has exactly the same capacity for self-preservation as he did in his previous appearance. The Easter imagery as juxtaposed with the usual Graveyard School setting is hilarious, and we further catch a glimpse of how committed Polly Hannah is towards her pink, yellow, and blue theme.
Title: Graveyard School #7 – Slime Lake, a.k.a. “Protect The Environment! Or I’ll FUCKING KILL YOU!”
Cover Artist: U.S. – Cam DeLeon, U.K. – ??? [Wing: That UK cover is something else!]
Tagline: “You’ve Been Slimed!” (U.K. Version)
Summary: Don’t Go In The Water!
Marc and his twin sister, Terri, are excited about spending the summer at their uncle Nicholas’s lake house. Even though their uncle is an old grouch, Marc and Terri enjoy the lake and their summer friends in Grove Hill.
But this summer is different. Suddenly the once placid lake has motorboats, fishermen, and crowds. Even worse is the gross green slime that’s been popping up on boats and docks and swimmers. When Terri goes for a swim and doesn’t return, Marc wonders what exactly is lurking under the water…
Hey Wing, so a little good news/bad news for you. The bad news is this book doesn’t have werewolves. The good news is it’s got your other favorite thing, twins!
(Terri and Marc by zackdoesalotofstuff)
[Wing: I think you may be overestimating my excitement for twins at this point, thanks to Sweet Valley, but Terri and Marc are super cute!]
This is the first and only book in the series to have twins as the main characters, and it’s also one of the books that heavily feature a message about environmentalism.
Slime Lake was previously referred to in the last book, “Camp Dracula,” but now we’re gonna find out just how gross it really is!
Evil twins, Wing and Dove, and their friends recap Point Horror and other teen genre fiction.
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