________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 6. . . .October 10, 2014


The Haunting of Heck House. (The Wiggins Weird, Book 2).

Lesley Livingston & Jonathan Llyr. Storyboard illustration by Steven Burley.
Toronto, ON: Penguin Canada, 2014.
263 pp., trade pbk. & eBook, $14.99 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-0-14-318426-3 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-14-319319-7 (eBook).

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Tanya Boudreau.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



Cheryl stood, fists on her hips, and gazed out over the vast sea of metal boxes perched on poles. “Huh. So. Which one d’you think it is?” she asked Tweed.

Tweed’s grey eyes narrowed as she contemplated the question. “Could be any one of ‘em…” Not about to be daunted by the potentially day-devouring task set before them, she shrugged one shoulder and cocked her head. “Maybe we should spice up the job with a good old-fashioned round of ACTION!!”

Cheryl nodded enthusiastically. “Capital idea!” she said.

ACTION!! Was a favourite game of make-believe the girls were fond of playing when faced with a tedious or difficult task.


In this second book in “The Wiggins Weird” series, 12-year-olds Cheryl and Tweed enter a babysitter contest. They know they are the best babysitters (and cat-sitters) in their small town, but they want to prove it to everyone else, especially their competition. They don’t do it alone though; they take with them their new friend, The Great Simon Omar. He’s a ghost trapped in a drive-in movie theatre speaker, but the girls have plenty of paranormal experience because of the movies they watch and the encounters they have had in the past (briefly described in this book). After the cousins leave the safety of their grandpa’s drive-in theatre (by telling a small lie), they become locked in the very house in which they are supposed to meet their host. When no one shows up, they are left to explore. They hear giggling. They see handprints on mirrors and a piano pushed down the stairs. They are never scared, but they wonder who is behind this mystery and why? The authors bring the cousins’ friends and enemies into the house in a way that is meant to surprise the reader. A vampire flying into the room turns out to be Artie, and the sounds in the downstairs lab are coming from local babysitters, Hazel and Cindy. It’s no surprise that teamwork is what allows everyone (ghosts included) to leave the house. But how they do it is unique and involves the friends taking 3-D special effects to a whole new level! Girls who laugh along with cheesy horror movies may enjoy this series. The writing is meant to be humourous, and the four instances of ACTION resemble a movie script with black and white panelled illustrations.


Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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