CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 21 . . . . February 2, 2018
Alex and the Other. (Weird Stories Gone Wrong).
Philippa Dowding. Illustrations by Shawna Daigle.
Toronto, ON: Dundurn, March, 2018.
137 pp., trade pbk., pdf & epub, $9.99 (pbk.), $9.99 (pdf), $8.99 (epub).
ISBN 978-1-4597-4063-1 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4597-4064-8 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4597-4065-5 (epub).
Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.
Review by Tabitha Nordby.
The weird breeze stopped as suddenly as it had started. Alex stood gasping in the moonlight, all ears and eyes. Listening. Watching. But the woods were still.
Something moved in the trees above him. Alex looked up into the wide eyes of his cat. There was a tiny blob of green on her tail. The ooze from the clearing!
"Needles! Come down!" Alex called. Needles stared at him from the tree, twitching her tail with the green blob.
Then she hissed, "Beware THE OTHER!"
Alex lives in a small town where nothing spectacular ever happens. But one day, Alex wakes up and everything has changed. His cat has gone missing, his reflection is talking to him in the mirror, he's seeing strange creatures in the woods at night, and animals are beginning to speak to him.
Fans of the short fiction series "Weird Stories Gone Wrong" will enjoy this fourth installment. Dowding captures Alex's voice perfectly showing readers the loneliness of being in middle school, the annoyance of dealing with an older sibling who rarely notices your existence, and the frustration of trying to talk to adults who just don't listen or understand.
The realities of middle school life combined with a creepy mystery adventure story make Alex and the Other a fun and fast- paced tale that fans of spooky stories will enjoy. Its pace and simple use of language will also make it accessible to reluctant readers.
Tabitha Nordby is a Readers' Advisory and Reference Instructor in the Library and Information Technology Program at Red River College in Winnipeg, MB.
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