Title: Room of Shadows | Author: Ronald Kidd | Publisher: Albert Whitman & Co | Pub. Date: 2017-8-1 | Pages: 256 | ISBN13: 9780807568057 | Genre: Children’s Horror / Thriller | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Received a copy from Netgalley for review consideration |
Room of Shadows
Ever since his dad left, David Cray has had anger issues. So after he beats up school bully Jake Bragg, his mom grounds him in their creepy new house. Bored, David discovers a secret room with an old-fashioned desk, a chest, and a carving of a raven. Suddenly he’s having strange dreams about the room and the house, and violence seems to follow him wherever he goes. Who is the Raven who is taking responsibility for these violent pranks? And why do the pranks resemble Poe’s stories? – Goodreads
Room of Shadows Review
Room of Shadows was an entertaining middle-grade read with a unique premise. Almost everyone knows of Edgar Allen Poe’s works, and many know that his end was both abrupt and mysterious. It was a fittingly foggy end to a writer whose works continue to capture the imagination. Room of Shadows takes what we know of Poe’s death and then speculates a suitably horrific ending to it all.
The main character in Room of Shadows is a young boy in a familiar situation. David has come from a recently broken home where things seemed to have changed overnight. He’s been forced to move when his now one-income family could no longer stay in their house. Worst of all, there’s no one to really help him deal with everything. It’s a situation that is rife for anger, misunderstandings, and cries for help. And that’s exactly what we think we’re seeing in the beginning.
But even though this is a ‘kids book’, Ronald Kidd doesn’t try to baby the reader. He weaves in enough mystery to even keep adult readers on their toes. The situations he describes that David witnesses are scary to think about (which really surprised me). And I think a lot of readers will be able to identify with at least the realistic parts of David’s situation. And David’s companion is a plucky girl named Libby who insists on being there with him to help when she can. For David to have someone that actually believes him/believes in him is probably one of the greatest gifts he’s given in this novel.
Overall, Room of Shadows has a lot going for it. It’s a well-written, imaginative tale that will thrill kiddos new to this type of story. It ended up surprising me a little bit because I thought it was going to resolve in an entirely different way. Room of Shadows is a good beginning horror/thriller for younger readers.