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

UPDATE TIME: 2018-05-19 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 70 user ratings

" Sam Graves and his friends Lucy and Antonio fall into adventure--literally--at their elementary school. Strange things have been happening there, and they want to find out why. They go on adventure through the bowels of the school, and make some interesting discoveries on the way. Recommended to readers who like creepy stories and stories about friendships. Gr. 3-5 " said.

" This was among the books I chose for my first attempt to lead a Guys Read book club for grade school boys at my local library system; check out my reflections on The Locker Ate Lucy! and other choices on my BookLikes blog, Reading Rainstorm, here. " said.

" This was a fun follow-up to This School is Alive! Sam, Lucy and Antonio do some research on the Eerie family and, after a visit to the town graveyard, learn that one of the members was not buried there. Brimming with questions, the trio arrive late to school, earning the ire of their grumpy teacher. They never do get to class as the locker does indeed swallow Lucy. The story moves quickly, with plenty of humor and dark illustrations. " said.

"My daughter and I have been reading this series together. We like them, but in this book, the only girl character gets captured at the very beginning and isn't rescued until basically the end of the book, leaving the two boys to rescue her. It's a boring and tired plot device, but it was also completely unnecessary. The author could have conceived of any number of reasons the three kids could have stayed together and still found themselves in the same trouble. So...whatever. I'll check out the third volume when it comes out, but I probably won't read this one again with my daughter. " said.

"In this second installment of the Eerie Elementary series, Sam Graves and his sidekicks Lucy and Antonio are determined to figure out what makes their school so bloodthirsty. When Lucy is swallowed by her locker, her two friends come to her rescue. Thanks to some fast thinking and actions, the three emerge from their adventures safely. But they know that the school is far from defeated. It's probably the secret thought of many an elementary school student that his/her school simply must be haunted, which makes this series work. I would just have liked a little more character development and not so much action, but then for it audience, the book probably delivers precisely what is wanted. " said.

"Book two of the Eerie Elementary series starts with Lucy disappearing. When Sam and Antonio investigate, they see inside her locker that "Nasty slimy goo dripped down the inside of the locker. It was glowing. It looked like neon boogers mixed with bulldog slobber." At the back of the locker there is a gaping hole, so the boys crawl in in hopes of finding Lucy. "It feels like we're crawling through someone's nose." They eventually end up in the basement of the evil school, right at the nerve center of the problem. And that's when they begin to discover the truth about Eerie Elementary.

Juicy language and cliff hangers at the end of each chapter will keep early readers turning the pages for more.
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"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.
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"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.
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June 2018 New Book:

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