The Nightmare House
Author: Sarah Allen
From Sarah Allen, the acclaimed author of What Stars Are Made Of and Breathing Underwater, comes a chilling middle-grade tale of fear, friendship, and finding courage even in the darkest of moments. In this monster story that’s also an allegory for relentless anxiety, see how far a penny’s worth of hope will take you when you enter The Nightmare House.
I saw a person with blank, colorless eyes . . . and this time, I wasn’t dreaming.
Penny Hope used to be brave, but that was before she met the Fear Maker. Years later, he still haunts her nightmares—a tall, thin man with red eyes, in a haunted house in the woods, who devours human souls and leaves their eyes hollow and empty. Penny’s beloved grandma tells her to write down these nightmares as poems in her notebook. But then Penny starts seeing blank-eyed people in the waking world, too. She’s the only one who notices.
As more people around her fall prey to the Fear Maker, Penny must gather her courage once and for all to save the souls of those she loves. With the help of a magic garden and a new friend, she ventures to the Fear Maker’s house. But the house is a labyrinth of shadows and tricks—and the Fear Maker’s fun is just beginning. Can a pocketful of sunflower seeds and a notebook filled with poems be enough to defeat a master of nightmares? And if Penny sets foot in the Fear Maker’s house, will she ever leave?
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)