by Angie Sage
One thumb up, one thumb down.
This book is a bit bizarre for my taste. That said, we did it as a read aloud and the kids loved it. It is a suitable choice for a wide range of ages and engages both boys and girls.
The story revolves around strange and unusual Araminta Spookie, and a cast of equally strange and unusual characters. They live in an old, tumble down, Queen Anne style mansion.
Araminta lives with her Aunt Tabby and Uncle Drac. Aunt Tabby seems mostly normal, but she is portrayed as an unlikeable character.
Uncle Drac appears to be obsessed, as his name might imply, with the vampire lifestyle. He works nights and sleeps during the day in his sleeping bag, hanging from the rafters of a turret filled with bats.
Araminta loves her house. She lives in the constant hope of meeting a ghost. She's also in constant apprehension of having to deal with Aunt Tabby, whose existence Araminta views as the bane of her life.
Push comes to shove when Aunt Tabby decides to sell their house and buy a more normal and functional one. The rest of the plot evolves as Araminta attempts to sabotage Aunt Tabby's plans. Along the way she meets some interesting characters and even makes a new friend.
Although the book might at first glance seem to be of dark subject matter, it is primarily lighthearted fun. There are few values lessons throughout the story, should a parent choose to make use of them.
The font is easy on the eyes and there is a cute-in-a-quirky sort of way illustration every few pages. It is the first of a series. I think the series could encourage a reluctant reader.