Newest Review: ... next day to have a boy in her class tell her that Dracula once lived in Whitby. When they arrive at their hotel it is very like Fliss's... more
A Fantastically Spooky Tale for Kids
Room 13 - Robert Swindells
Member Name: devongirlie
Room 13 - Robert Swindells
Advantages: Has children on the edge of their seats.
This is a spooky little tale aimed at children in the 8-12 age bracket. It tells the story of Fliss and her classmates who go on a residential school trip to Whitby. On the night before she leaves for the trip Fliss dreams of a hotel at night, where her feet seem to mysteriously develop a will of their own and take her past buildings and rooms where a spooky voice whispers things like 'The Gate of Fate', 'The Keep of Sleep', and 'The Room of Doom'. She is even more spooked the next day to have a boy in her class tell her that Dracula once lived in Whitby.
When they arrive at their hotel it is very like Fliss's dream. On the floor Fliss and her mates are sleeping there is a room 10, 11 and 12. Then there is the unnumbered linen closest. On the first night Fliss is disturbed by someone crying and decides to take a trip to the bathroom to see if she could use that as an excuse to investigate. On the way back she notices that the linen cupboard now has the number 13 on it. It is not there the next morning.
One of Fliss's classmates becomes ill, they see her sleepwalking in the middle of the night and on investigating Fliss discovers that there are two tiny puncture wounds on the side of her neck. As Fliss and her three friends get drawn further into the mystery they realise that they have to do something about the creature in Room 13.
The clues are very carefully drip-fed into the novel and the characters well-drawn and realistic, each with their own set of worries. The three teacher in charge of the class are also interesting and have distinct personalities. They behave in realistic and credible ways. The whole story is told with a good deal of suspense yet Swindells manages to mix in a fair amount of humour as well. I think it is this careful balance that makes it such a success.
I read this book to my class each year, usually just before we go off on our residential trip (I know, I'm a saddist!) and they love it. They laugh in all the right places, and when it gets to the climax of the story you can hear a pin drop in my classroom, they barely even breathe. If they only remember one of the stories I read them I can practically guarantee that this is it.
Summary: I wish I'd could write like this.
More reviews in the field of Junior Book
- Aiming For - Level 5 Writing: Student Book - Caroline Bentley-Davies
- Collins Readers - War Horse - Michael Morpurgo
- The Frog and Toad Collection Box Set - Arnold Lobel
- National Geographic Kids 125 True Stories of Amazing Animals - National Geograph ...
- The Animal Colouring Book - Beth Gunnell
- Pom-Pom Puppies - April Chorba