168 pages; published September 2012
All of Robert Arthur’s friends are still at the old middle school, but he’s been sent off to be one of the first students to attend Lovecraft Middle School. Things seem weird from the very beginning – when rats leap out of the new student lockers on the first day. Then there are strange rooms that appear and disappear. And a science teacher that couldn’t be more strange. Something isn’t at all right at Lovecraft Middle School and Robert means to be the one to find out what.
The slick cover creates the first appeal factor for Professor Gargoyle. It’s a lenticular portrait (yes, I had to look up what that was called) that shifts from the image of a slightly stern older man to a fairly frightening demon as you move from one side to the other. The effect alone should attract readers. (Click on the image to see the changing picture.)
Inside is a harmless, ultimately light-hearted adventure involving a new school with some hidden features inspired by the classic works of H.P. Lovecraft. While elements are creepy, the story is never truly scary, making it a safe choice for younger teen readers.
Wait! There’s More
Prominently featured on the cover is the news that this is the first in an intended series of adventures at Lovecraft Middle School. The second, The Slither Sisters (who I suspect we met in this first story), is due out January 15, 2013.