Title: Recess is a Jungle | Series: Eerie Elementary #3 | Author: Jack Chabert | Illustrator: Sam Ricks | Publisher: Scholastic, Inc | Pub. Date: 2016-1-5 | Pages: 96 | ISBN13: 9780545873536) | Genre: Kids Horror | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 5 out of 5 | Source: Library
Recess is a Jungle
This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!
Sam, Antonio, and Lucy are passing around a soccer ball at recess when something strange happens… They soon find themselves in a fog-filled jungle! The grass and trees have come alive, growing high into the sky. And the friends discover that it’s not just the school itself that’s alive — it’s everything on the school grounds! Sam, Antonio, and Lucy must find their way out of a monstrous hedge maze in time to rescue the rest of the students! – Goodreads
Recess is a Jungle Review
I was so happy once I finished Recess is a Jungle. I had found a new kids horror author to follow! And then in the process of writing the review, I found out that Jack Chabert doesn’t exist. It’s actually the pen name for another kids horror author that I’ve come to respect. Max Brallier. Max Brallier and Sam Ricks make a great team in this early chapter reader from Scholastic. Clear, nice-sized font and illustrations that perfectly tell readers that might be struggling with some words what is going on. The illustrations are included in various ways. Sometimes they are full page illustrations that the text is printed over, sometimes a boxed picture, etc. It never gets visually boring.
Though this is the third book in the series, it functions perfectly fine as a standalone. Sam is a Hall Monitor for a school that is an evil entity. Orson Eerie found a way to become immortal through becoming the school itself. The school that feeds on kids. (The grown up part of me goes “Yep, someone should have noticed the kids disappearing regularly”, but my inner child goes “See?! SEE?! Schools are evil!”) He, along with his friends Lucy and Atonio, are charged with trying to keep the kids safe while they attend school. Well, in Recess is a Jungle, they find out that there is still a lot to learn about Orson and how far his evil reach extends.
One of the many nice things about Recess is a Jungle is the story line is actually kind of creepy. That, and Jack/Max doesn’t shy away from putting his trio in possible danger. The three of them use their intelligence and their bravery to find their way through the various obstacles to find a way to save the students once again. Also, even though Sam does save Lucy at one point, the relationship between all three of them feels equal.
Overall, Recess is a Jungle is a fantastic early chapter reader that I whole-heartedly recommend. The author and illustrator both respect children’s abilities to handle a little creepiness. It’s an atmospheric read that is fun for both kids and adults.