Scary School by Derek the Ghost, illustrated by Scott M. Fischer (NY: Harper, 2011). Review copy provided by the author.
At the Scary School, humans and scary creatures mingle, and lots of the human kids die, though some return in a different guise, like dragons. Many of the teachers routinely eat or otherwise kill students, including Principal Headcrusher, but most notoriously Dr. Dragonbreath. The narrator, Derek the Ghost, died in a horrendous laboratory fire, but returned as a ghost because he'd always wanted to write a book, and with the Ghoul Games competition against the monster schools ahead in the coming school year, there will be lots to write about.
Kids are sure to find something funny in this humorous take on school jitters. Sure, the other students can be mean at any school, but can they eat your brains or slash you to death? And teachers can be frightening, but will any of them actually eat you, the way Mrs. T (a real T. rex!) does--if she's hungry--during a detention? The plot stutters episodically as it focuses on different students and events that are only loosely connected, but it gradually leads up to the Ghoul Games, which threaten to destroy the school! Derek tends to tell rather than show and more detail, especially about himself, might have allowed the reader to feel more invested in the story. He also regularly alludes to future books and events instead of allowing the story to unfold naturally. The illustrations are excellent! Fine for ages 8 & up.
I read a lot, especially kid and young adult lit. This blog will review what I've been reading. I get most of my reading material from the library, plus I buy books at school book fairs and the usual stores. I look for freebies on Amazon for my Kindle, and I'm happy to review any ARCs or e-galleys I can get my hands on.