Groosham Grange

Groosham Grange

Book - 1999
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Sent to Groosham Grange as a last resort by his parents, David Eliot quickly discovers that his new school is a very weird place indeed - new pupils are made to sign their names in blood, an English teacher is held together entirely with bandages, and students disappear in the middle of the night.
Publisher: New York : Philomel Books, c1999.
ISBN: 9780399250613
Branch Call Number: J FIC Horow 3701ma 1
Characteristics: 196 pages


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Mar 24, 2011

The characters in this book are stereotypical and flat--you've got the fat kid who seems like he will be a bigger secondary character but then disappears halfway through the story. Then there's the tomboy girl best friend that doesn't really do anything. I never bonded with the main character, and felt like he was just a puppet of the author, not a real person. Let's face it, we read books to escape not to follow a lifeless boy whose decisions make no sense. The ending doesn't add up, and we are never given the main character's thought process, so it just leaves you feeling like, "What the heck?" For such a short book, it kind of drags on.

It could almost be enjoyable except that every time you get interested in the plot, the author decides to throw a cheesy joke in. He also uses a couple characters at random points throughout the book to expound upon the horrors of Christianity--one character is a priest that Horowitz treats with a negative bias that completely breaks the narration. Then there is the teacher's soliloquy about how Christmas was never a Christian holiday and still isn't. They just don't fit with the book or the narration. It's like the author had a point to drive home and his treatment of it is awkward and lopsided.

Also, the father in the book is violently abusive. Horowitz tries to treat it as slapstick, but it's really kind of disturbing--for instance, in the beginning of the book the mother gets stabbed. There is also an attempted joke where the school inspector asks if a character is gay and is informed that the character certainly is queer. It's just not funny and it's inappropriate to joke with derogatory slurs like that in a kid's book.

Definitely not recommended!

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