The collector

A. R. Kahler

Book - 2018

Josie must discover the connection between a strange house in the woods, her grandmother's stories, and missing children, or risk losing her sister to dark magic.

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Horror fiction
New York : Scholastic Inc [2018]
Main Author
A. R. Kahler (author)
Physical Description
217 pages ; 20 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Alexander, who also writes as A. R. Kahler, crafts a solidly scary story in his middle-grade debut, wherein two sisters are terrorized by a witch living in the woods behind their grandmother's house. Sixth-grader Josie and her little sister, Anna, move in with their ill grandmother so their mother can care for her. Josie is scared to start a new school and feeling isolated without a TV, internet, or cell reception. Plus, Grandma Jeannie has weird rules keep windows closed, stay out of the woods, and no dolls allowed to protect them from the witch Beryl. Their mother says Beryl isn't real, but Josie still has nightmares about being chased toward a creepy house full of dolls in the woods. School is another kind of nightmare, until Josie becomes fast friends with classmate Vanessa. When Josie discovers Vanessa's house is the one from her dreams, she's not sure Vanessa can be trusted. This is a good introduction to supernatural horror for middle-grade readers, with a suspenseful plot, sinister imagery of possessed dolls, and sympathetic characters.--Krista Hutley Copyright 2018 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-When Josie's grandmother becomes ill, Josie and her family leave city life and move to her grandmother's home in the country. For Josie, this means starting sixth grade at a new school, far from her friends, with no Internet or cable TV. Her grandmother has many strange rules and is always muttering to herself about the witch in the woods, which makes it even more difficult for Josie to make friends. When children begin to disappear and horrible dreams start haunting Josie and her younger sister Anna, Josie learns that her grandmother's strange beliefs might not be the mutterings of an old woman, but real attempts to protect their family from something sinister in the woods. Alexander builds tension slowly, ramping up to a fight between Josie and the witch. Unfortunately, the resolution happens a bit too quickly for all the time spent setting the scene, and there are several story lines left unresolved. Josie and Vanessa's friendship feels too good to be true, and the characters could have used more depth and development. VERDICT Casual horror fans are likely to pick this up based on the cover alone. Recommended as an additional purchase for large collections where scary fiction circulates well.-Ellen Conlin, Naperville Public Library, IL © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

A witch dolls up local children by transforming them into, well, dolls. Sixth-grader Josie, along with her mother and younger sister, Anna, moves from Chicago to a small town to live with their grandmother. Grandma Jeannie, who is experiencing memory loss, has only three house rules: Windows must stay closed after dark, no dolls are allowed inside, and, it is forbidden to visit the house in the woods where Beryl lives. When Josie and her sister start hearing voices calling to them in the night they begin to understand and abide by these rules. School and a growing friendship with classmate Vanessa bring some normalcy to Josie's new life. But when the two girls arrange to spend time together after school, Vanessa's house turns out to be the one Josie's grandma warned her about. Will Josie escape, or will she end up like the hundreds of other doll-children collected in the house? Alexander's middle-grade debut (this is a pen name; the author also publishes as Alex R. Kahler) is well-plotted genre fiction, with plenty of suspense and eerie imagery. Grandma's memory loss reads more like a trope than accurate characterization, but her involvement in the witch's backstory adds depth to the otherwise simple narrative. Lacking any signifiers, the cast assumes a white default. Josie is vegetarian.Delightfully spookyreaders may want to avoid dolls for a while after finishing this one. (Horror. 8-13) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.