Shadow House series by Dan Poblacki
A fifth grade teacher mentioned this series to me one day, and it sounded so intriguing that I had to check it out. I’m glad I did. Who doesn’t like a book about a house that is trying to kill you? Very creepy.
The Gathering: Book 1
Some houses are more than just haunted… they’re hungry.
Dash, Dylan, Poppy, Marcus, and Azumi don’t know this at first. They each think they’ve been summoned to Shadow House for innocent reasons. But there’s nothing innocent about Shadow House.
Something within its walls is wickedly wrong. Nothing — and nobody — can be trusted. Hallways move. Doors vanish. Ghosts appear. Children disappear.
And the way out?
That’s disappeared, too…
Enter Shadow House… if you dare.
This first book in the series set up the character’s and the house. We meet all of the kids as they make their way to this house in upstate New York. As they come to know each other and what brought each of them there, you really begin to see how devious this house is. They all have their own issues which makes the house even hungrier for them. You end up liking all of the kids and really rooting for each of them to survive. The ghosts are pretty terrifying and really creepy in their masks.
You Can’t Hide: Book 2
Shadow House will find you . . .
Poppy, Marcus, Dash, Dylan, and Azumi are all trapped within Shadow House, a sinister estate where past and present intertwine. As they fight to find a way out, the kids think the ghosts of the house are the greatest danger they face. Little do the kids know it’s the secrets they’re each hiding that will prove even more lethal.
They’re going to have to come face to face with their fears if they stand any hope of escaping the house alive. Is there anyone or anything in the house they can trust? Or is all hope disappearing, too . . .
Enter Shadow House . . . if you dare.
As the secrets of the house are discovered, the kids start to formulate a plan of escape. Poppy is learning more about herself and she is the one that really begins to understand the house and how to get out. The others are not always willing to follow her lead, which is not always a good thing. But they all have their own demons to come to terms with and in order to survive the house they need to.
No Way Out: Book 3
Shadow House always wins . . .
Poppy, Dash, Azumi, and Dylan may have made it out of Shadow House–but the grounds are a whole new nightmare. Someone they thought was a friend is hunting them, and there’s no place that’s safe now that they’ve woken the shadow creature.
If they want to survive, they’ll have to figure out once and for all what the house wants from them, and what-or who-they’ll need to leave behind in order to escape . . . or risk being trapped within Shadow House forever.
This was quite the conclusion, I wasn’t sure that any of them would make it out. Sadly not all of them do. But the death was handled well. A spectacular ending, but I would have liked a little bit more of what happened afterwards to the kids. Also there were a few plot points that were left sort of unfinished. There is a prequel that I haven’t read, so perhaps some of the things about the house that I have still questions about are answered there.
I should mention that there is an app component to the stories that I didn’t check out. Apparently there are videos and other things to enhance the story. I have done this with other Scholastic books and they are usually worthwhile.
A really well done spooky series for middle-graders.