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!]
Continue reading »
Title: Graveyard School #13 – Tales Too Scary To Tell At Camp, a.k.a. “1001 Graveyard School Nights”
Author: Tom B. Stone, a.k.a. Nola Thacker, a.k.a. D.E. Athkins
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”
Cover Artist: Mark Nagata
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!
Title: Graveyard School #6 – Camp Dracula a.k.a. “The Purple Bear Jamboree”
Author: Tom B. Stone/Nola Thacker/D.E. Athkins
Cover Artist: Barry Jackson
Summary: Camp At Your Own Risk!
Welcome to camp – Camp Dracula, as Jeep Holmes jokingly calls it. [Wing: JEEP.] Jeep may be joking, but he isn’t laughing. He can’t take this weird new summer place! Never mind that the counselors always wear dark glasses and the activities are all at night. What bothers him most are the other campers, a bunch of sickly-looking creeps who like to keep bats in the bunks! Why did his parents send him to this horrific place? Will Jeep make it through the summer without going batty?
And now we get back into the chronological order of things (at least for a little bit), but hey, this is a vampire book, and what goes better with February than vampires?
This is the first book in the series to take place outside of the school and Grove Hill, and the first summer-themed story. I mentioned there were only two camp-related books, and it’s interesting it would involve vampires since they’re nocturnal by nature and camp tales take place mostly during the day. This is also the first to have a protagonist who can be genuinely grating on the reader. It’s admittedly one of the few books I haven’t reread as much.
But you’d be surprised at the use of Dracula references.
[Wing: I love summer camp stories and vampire stories and Dracula references, and that cover is adorable. I’m excited.]
Title: Graveyard School #26 – Little School of Horrors
Summary: It’s The Most Horrifying Time Of Year In Grove Hill – Back-To-School Time!
Back to school.
Ghouls rule. Teachers drool.
Dead things walking are nothing shocking.
Blue is new at Graveyard School. But he knows right away that he’s going to class at Creep Central. Just look at the teachers. The principal. Even the janitor. But worst of all, look at the kid who wants to be Blue’s best friend. With friends like these, who needs enemies?
Welcome to Dead Kid 101.
[Wing: This summary made me laugh. I’m delighted.]
Looking at the cover Wing you can guess why I picked this for your b-day month, and lucky for you this is also one of my favorite books in the series.
What’s weird about it is this book has got some world building shit going on, and the way it reads you’d THINK it would’ve been the first in the series. It gives a much better sense of how big the sixth grade class is, even for a small town, which puts it at odds with the Fear Street Seniors series for how it only focused on a handful of the 12th grade class and then made sporadic, frustrating references to all the OTHER kids in the graduating class.
But this is frustrating for me because this was the third to last in the line, and none of the other kids introduced in this book appeared in “Here Comes Santa Claws” or “The Spider Beside Her.” I can’t help but wonder what Thacker might’ve had planned for this series if #28 wasn’t the last. God knows I still have some notes from way back in high school on ideas I had for stories with these guys.
And we also get a look at racism through the eyes of a kids horror book!
[Wing: I do love the surprise on that cover, thank you! It’s strange that this isn’t the first book in the series, or that the world building here wasn’t included in the first book, at least. Though, I did like the pacing on the first book, and this information might have slowed it down.
No matter what, I’m super excited about this!]
Title: Graveyard School #22 – Boo Year’s Eve
Summary: A Scary New Start To A New Year…
It’s New Year’s Eve. As Jordie and Jessica Flanders are coming home from a visit to their grandmother, their bus breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Ordinarily Jordie would be bummed. But she’s been invited – and forced to go – to perfect Polly Hannah’s New Year’s Eve party. Compared to that, the middle of nowhere isn’t so bad!
The passengers take refuge at the nearest house – an old mansion. At first Jordie thinks it’s cool, but when she stumbles onto a party of ghosts, she’d do anything to get out and get to Polly’s party – alive!
There was no way on God’s green Earth I was gonna wait two years to recap this book. A lot can happen in two years and, with that blowdryed, spray tanned serial rapist xenophobe in control of nuclear launch codes… shit I made myself sad.
This has long been my first and foremost favorite entry in the entire series. I’ve saved this one and several others in a box that’s ready to pull out in case of a fire, because chances are I will never find another copy anywhere. I got lucky back in 2004 and was able to purchase this separately of the bulk lot I found on eBay. It’s my favorite for a number of reasons:
(Jordie Flanders by Nanihoo)
Jordie’s another kind of little shit I love, and she’s forced to deal with someone who exhibits her worse traits. Now granted, there’s some of that “Crazy Means Dangerous” shit, I’m not gonna lie, but I love how tense the climax is. And that ending!
[Wing: Not looking forward to that part, but Jordie sounds amazing so far, and I can’t wait.]
Title: Graveyard School #15 – The Fright Before Christmas
Cover Artist: Mark Nagata [Wing: That cover is so much cheesy fun.]
Summary: Have Yourself A Scary Little Christmas…
Christopher hates Christmas. He calls it a howl-iday, not a holiday. The fat man in the red suit? Santa Claws. That eight-reindeer vehicle? A slay. And Chris isn’t kidding. Welcome to Christmas at Graveyard School. It’s sure to be very merry. And very, very scary. [Wing: CHRIS YOU ARE TEASING ME WITH WEREWOLVES.]
Here we’ve come to the second of the two Christmas Carol bootleg books I’ve reviewed for Point Horror, and I feel this one’s much better than “Fright Christmas.” [Wing: Everyone loves a Christmas Carol retellings, I guess.] For one thing, it’s got something of a meta bent to it. See, this is a rare Christmas Carol copy where it acknowledges the original work as something that exists. In almost every other take on the famous novel by Charles Dickens, the characters never seem to recognize what they’re currently experiencing. Out of the few times where such a thing occurred, there was
This book also gets to demonstrate how smart these kids really are. They’re quite clear on why Christopher, the Scrooge stand-in, pisses them off so much. They don’t dislike him because he doesn’t like Christmas, but they DO dislike him because he’s got such a bad attitude about the holiday. They know lots of people don’t celebrate Christmas, but Christopher’s so pissy about it no matter what culture he comes from they think he wouldn’t celebrate ANY holiday. So look, if you don’t want to participate in some holiday fine, but don’t ruin the fun for everybody else. There’s also the understanding that his dislike of the holiday is coming from somewhere much more complicated.
I could be wrong though, and if any of you feel this is coming from some place of bias feel free to tell me. I’d LOVE to have a discussion on it.
[Wing: Well now I am super interested. Let’s do this.]
Title: Graveyard School #21 – The Skeleton’s Revenge
Summary: He’s Baaaack!!!
Skate McGraw and his family are spending Thanksgiving at his uncle Edgar’s house on an island. It sounds cool, but when they arrive, Skate immediately gets the creeps. The first thing that makes him uneasy is the scary skeleton in his uncle’s study. Then Skate begins to hear sounds at night-sounds like bony feet walking the floor and bony fingers turning the doorknob to his room. But when Skate sees the horrifying figure in action, he’s convinced. The skeleton on the skateboard is back for the ultimate revenge!
Our first scheduled break in the chronological reading order, because this is the only book in the series to take place during Thanksgiving. It’s also the only sequel in the franchise. To its credit, this one isn’t quite as obvious as the previous “Skeleton” book and you are in no way prepared for how this book ends.
Now, despite taking place during Thanksgiving, the story is set on a tropical island, and it replaces skateboarding as the focus with surfing. And unfortunately, Vickie Wheilson is only in the story for the first couple of chapters.
[Wing: Skate! Surfing! Tropical island! YAY! NOT ENOUGH VICKIE! BOO! I’m excited about a sequel, though.]
Wing recaps Silent Stalker by R. T. Cusick and Graveyard School #2: Skeleton on a Skateboard by Tom B. Stone (aka Nola Thacker aka D. E. Athkins). Around the 21 minute mark, she gets a little deep about mental illness, the damage books (and other pop culture) can do, and her exhaustion over living with a mental illness. And then it gets much more fun with the ridiculous joy that is Graveyard School.
Links mentioned in the podcast:
Written Recaps: pointhorror.com
Episode Media: Silent Stalker by R. T. Cusick and Skeleton on a Skateboard by Tom B. Stone
Reader/Listener Mail: Super Serials podcast
“Gypsy” as a slur.
Facebook: Devil’s Elbow
Tumblr: Devil’s Elbow
Patreon: Devil’s Elbow
Evil twins, Wing and Dove, and their friends recap Point Horror and other teen genre fiction.
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