The Locker Ate Lucy!: A Branches Book (Eerie Elementary #2) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-12-03 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 70 user ratings

"This is a review of Eerie Elementary books 1 and 2.

When Sam is first given the job of hall monitor at Eerie Elementary, his biggest concern is that he looks foolish in the sash he must wear. Soon he learns that his real worries should focus on the school itself, as the building is alive and out to get its students. In the first book, The School is Alive!, Sam must save his classmates from disaster during a school assembly. In the second book, The Locker Ate Lucy!, he must rescue his friend Lucy from the depths of the school plumbing.

Kids who like scary adventures will feel that they have hit the jackpot with this new series. These plot-driven tales are fast-paced, exciting and suspenseful, and yet still easy to read, making them ideal for 2nd and 3rd grade boys. The illustrations both contextualize the plot and guide the reader through the creepy setting, making for an immersive reading experience. As is typical of plot-driven books at this level, the characters lack layers, and their personalities are flat and interchangeable. While this might make it more difficult for kids to fall in love with the characters, it may also allow them to more easily imagine themselves in Sam's shoes, thereby enhancing the thrill of reading a scary story.

The Eerie Elementary series will be popular among kids who enjoy R.L. Stine's Rotten School books, and possibly also among those who like Dan Gutman's Weird School series and its spin-offs. The first book would also make a fun Halloween read-aloud at home or at school.
" said.

"Volume 2 Starts Fast and Screams Along

(VERY MILD SPOILER.) The story here is that Sam Graves has been appointed to be the new hall monitor at Eerie Elementary School. In Volume 1 Sam learned that this position comes with the responsibility for protecting the students from the evil force that occupies and animates the school. Sam, with his pals Lucy and Antonio, must labor to protect the school. Volume 2 starts with a bang as Sam and Antonio are called upon to save Lucy from a man eating locker, and then the entire gang has to battle the eeeevil behind the demented "living" school.

Now this is a pretty clever hook and allows for some creepy action, some menace and suspense, cooperative effort by Sam and his friends, and all kinds of action/adventure complications. In Volume 1 the author had to set up the whole premise. In this volume it's very much all action, (with some surprise developments), and it's actually pretty intense for a chapter book. (SPOILER: We have kidnapping, a creepy basement, being trapped in a flooding room, being attacked by a monster hand, being squeezed by stuff - as I say, this is pretty intense, so be warned if your little reader is sensitive to that.)

The book is irony, sarcasm, and snark free. The author isn't trying to have it both ways by spoofing the very book he has written. There are laughs, but not at the book's or the reader's expense. Mercifully, there also aren't mean kids and bullies, which lately always seem to be tossed in to these efforts, even if they make no sense and add nothing to the story.

This is another entry in the series Scholastic calls "Branches", which so far consists of about nine different sets of books. I read one, "Let's Get Cracking!", in the Kung Pow Chicken series, and it was funny and very clever. These are supposed to be early chapter books, with a bit of oomph to grab readers. I'm impressed.

The upshot is that it seems to me that this would be a great book for a confident, independent early reader, and would also be accessible to a more tentative reader. It would also work as a read to or a read with. It has some laughs, some substance and some thrills. Sounds good to me.

Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book. I just like to read these books and write these reviews with my grandkids, (all early readers), in mind.
" said.

" Fantasy - A very fun story about an elementary school that is actually alive. Great for young readers as it has so much they can relate to. " said.

" Not as much fun as the first one. And maybe slightly too scary for my kid to really enjoy. " said.

" The school strikes again... or is it the school at all? This series is fun and interactive. I truly enjoy the creativity that needs to be used to survive! " said.

" This is more entertaining than the first book. In this one, Sam and friends uncover the truth about the psycho school. " said.

" Great StoryMy son and I read this together- a really engaging kids' book- we both like Sam's adventures and quick thinking " said.

" The school is trying to kill them. No, seriously, it is! Once again Sam and his friends need to save the day but first they need to save Lucy. The locker might have eaten her. Filled with lots of action and you learn a lot more about the school, this was a fun read. Great book for kids just starting to read chapter books. Highly recommend this series. " said.

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