When I was a kid, I read anything I could get my hands on – adult science fiction and fantasy like Herbert’s Dune and Moorcock’s Elric, pulp adventures, horror anthologies, my father’s Popular Science magazines, my mom’s “romance” novels that she hid in her dresser – Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin, The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, Wifey by Judy Blume, Jacqueline Susann’s Once Is Not Enough, etc. I remember reading Stephen King’s short story collection Night Shift in my bedroom when I was in sixth or seventh grade and being petrified under the sheets. It was awesome…
If I were a kid today, I would undoubtedly love David Lubar’s Weenies sequence – collections of warped and creepy tales (In the Land of the Lawn Weenies, Invasion of the Road Weenies, The Curse of the Campfire Weenies, The Battle of the Red Hot Pepper Weenies, and the recently released Attack of the Vampire Weenies) aimed at middle grade readers.
“Come sparkle with us. Have oodles of dark fun playing vampire games and making new vampire pals. There will be bloodsicles, coffin cakes, and lots of other goodies.”
“Ghost in the Well” was arguably my favorite story of the 33 included within Attack of the Vampire Weenies. This one, reminiscent of an early Stephen King tale, revolves around a girl who falls into an old well by a crabapple tree after following a ghostly voice whispering her name.
You're traveling through another dimension – a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination…
There is no doubt about it – David Lubar is the Rod Serling of Middle Grade Fiction.
…That's a signpost up ahead. Your next stop: the Weenie Zone!
Paul Goat Allen has been a full-time book reviewer specializing in genre fiction for the last two decades and has written thousands of reviews for companies like Publishers Weekly, The Chicago Tribune, Kirkus Reviews, and BarnesandNoble.com. In his free time, he reads.
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