BOOK REVIEWS

The Collector Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2019-04-12 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 42 user ratings
ISBN:1338212249
LANGUAGE:English

"This is a really creepy horror story complete with dolls, missing children, a dark forest, and a witch. For my fourth through sixth-grade students who love horror, they will adore this book! Josie is entering sixth grade when she and her little sister, Anna, have to move to the countryside to live with their mother's mother who is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. When their Grandma Jeannie lays down the rules (don't open the windows at night, don't go into the woods, and don't bring any dolls into the house), Josie knows they're in for a doozy of a stay. That night, however, she hears Beryl (scary person from Grandmother's past) calling to her from the woods. That's the last night she sleeps alone as her little sister jumps into bed with her! Meanwhile, Josie makes a friend at school. Vanessa is an amazing and "cool" girl; Josie can't believe she wants to be her friend. It's a set up, but not a predictable one. I was compelled to see what would happen in the end. There's a nice twist that makes the book satisfying to read. Warning: could bring on nightmares in little ones." said.

"Josie, her little sister, Anna, and their mom move from big-city Chicago to a small town by the woods where their Grandma Jeannie lives. When they get to Grandma Jeannie's house, Josie and Anna are told that they must follow these three rules:
1. Do not leave the windows open
at night.
2. No dolls are allowed in the house.
3. Do not go by the house that is in the woods.
As Josie and Anna try to adjust to their new life there, it becomes difficult for them to obey their Grandmother's odd rules.

I read "The Collector" with my 4th grader- who doesn't love to read and is a picky reader. However, this book had US hooked right from the start. K.R. Alexander did a great job creating likable characters and creepy ones, too. The story unraveled at just the right pace. The level of spookiness was just right for my 4th grader, but it may be too spooky for younger readers. We're waiting to see if Alexander comes out with more Scholastic books for young readers as we really enjoyed reading "The Collector" together.
" said.

"If you could live at your Grandma’s house for a while instead of at your house, would you be excited? Josie and her sister, Annie, sure aren’t, and they’re ready for a long period of time without sugar, WiFi, or most importantly, people they actually know. To add to the brutal heat and the boredom, Grandma Jeannie has the strangest rules that everyone must follow: “Don’t leave the window open. No dolls in the house. And never, ever, go into the house in the woods. That’s where Beryl lives.” The grip-taking horror novel ‘The Collector’, by K. R. Alexander, will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the heart-pounding finish. When Grandma Jeannie warns Josie about the rules, she doesn’t even think of breaking them, until she meets Vanessa, a popular girl at the school. Josie and Vanessa become close friends: at least, close enough that Josie doesn’t question the strange warnings appearing on her locker. Close enough friends that, when Josie is invited to Vanessa’s house, the house in the woods, she doesn’t run away. Soon, Josie begins hearing more of Beryl from her grandma, and kids are beginning to vanish into the woods: the woods where Vanessa and ‘Beryl’ live. Josie has no choice but to wonder, “How are these kids disappearing?” “Does this have something to do with Vanessa?” and, finally, “Am I going to be next?”
Lucas C, age 13, Southern Connecticut Mensa
" said.

"Public Library Copy

Josie's mother has lost her job in the city, and her grandmother is slipping further into dementia, so the family moves to the country to take care of her. The grandmother has some odd rules, such as not opening the windows at night or having dolls in the house, and insists that Josie and her younger sister do not visit the house near them in the woods. Josie has a hard time at school, but there is one girl, Vanessa, who is nice to her. Vanessa lives with her aunt, and invites Josie to come for a visit... but she lives in the house Josie is forbidden to enter. Preferring a friend to her grandmother's rules, Josie does visit, but the house leaves her feeling anxious. When Vanessa gives Josie a doll for her sister, who is having bad dreams, Josie is willing to do anything to help her sister. Josie's grandmother becomes agitated, and claims that children will soon go missing, and this does come to pass. Several school mates are missing, and Josie begins to feel that perhaps Vanessa and her aunt are behind the disappearances. Will she be able to figure out the mystery before she and her sister become victims?
Strengths: Nicely creepy, and plays on the ever present middle grade fear of not making friends. The setting is increasingly creepy, and the cover will scare off anyone who cannot read tales about creepy dolls. Those who enjoy books like this will find this to be deliciously creepy.
Weaknesses: I feel like I've read this before, but with a more Southern setting. The idea of children moving to a new house and being haunted is tried and true, which doesn't bother students but is beginning to get old for me. See this 2010 post about Betty Ren Wright's work!
What I really think: It's only available in paperback and Follett Bound, but I am definitely purchasing. I need a lot more creepy books!
" said.

"I saw this advertised in our school book fair. I purchased it and before I could read it a student saw it on my desk and asked if he could read it. I told him he had to tell me his thoughts. Yesterday he brought the book up to me and with deliberate emphasis on each word he said, "You. Are. Going. To. Love This. It. Is. So Creepy. You are going to love it." I read it during the next two periods. Josie and her sister have been forced to move with their mom back to their grandmother's house. Their grandmother has specific rules. Josie and her sister don't like their new school. They have trouble with the other students. Suddenly she has a new friend named Vanessa. When Josie and her sister break her grandmother's rules they inadvertently set something evil into motion. This is one of those books you have to read from cover to cover in one sitting. It has a great twist. This is the first book I had read by this author. I am looking forward to reading more." said.

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You can read this review and more middle-grade, children’s and teen book reviews on my blog


Creepy Dolls and Wicked Witches Lurk In "The Collector"


The Collector K.R. Alexander’s debut middle grade novel makes no secret that creepy AF dolls are tucked within its pages. I'm TERRIFIED of dolls sooo naturally I picked up this up the instant I saw it. " said.

" This book was okay but it was a very predictable storyline. " said.

" My girls really loved this creepy book...many features make it great for middle school vulnerable readers--short chapters, creepy atmosphere, action...fairly linear plot. Some of their words--"exciting" "energizing" "creepy" "made my heart beat fast" "couldn't wait to finish it"They are begging for the sequel. " said.

May 2019 New Book:

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