Looking for a chapter book that sends cold shivers up your spine? Look no further than The Gathering, the first book in the “Shadow House” series by Dan Poblocki. Five children from across the U.S. are lured to the mysterious Larkspur House under false pretenses. Is it a music academy? Is it the residence of a long-lost great aunt? What they find inside the immense building is something completely different. Once the kids are behind the locked doors, they may never leave again. One of the strengths of this unique title is its connection to an app called “Shadow House” which can be downloaded for free from the Google Play app for Android smartphones or from the Apple app store for iPhones. Once the app is downloaded, the reader can access additional ghost stories every time a sigil, or symbol, is discovered on a book page. I enjoyed the app’s creepy music and stories as well as the spooky illustrations. The book will entice you without the app, but I recommend trying the app to add to the chilling experience.
Book reviewed by Amy M., Youth Services Assistant