Grimm House Review (Children’s Dark Fantasy)

When Hadley’s parents leave on a cruise and then are reported lost at sea, her perfect world is turned upside down. In a flash, she is whisked away to a new life of drudgery at Grimm House where she waits on not one but two persnickety old aunts. As she grudgingly fulfills their commands of cooking, cleaning, and even after-dinner-dancing, she comes to suspect the aunts are really witches who are scheming to take the thing she loves best. With only her wits and the help of some unlikely new friends, Hadley makes a plan to escape Grimm House and find her way home before it’s too late.-Goodreads

Book cover for Grimm House

Grimm House Review


Grimm House was a great, creepy kids dark fantasy. Karen McQuestion used several familiar elements from fairy tales and added a few twists of her own. She does a good job of keeping it right on this side of being too creepy or sad for a kid’s book. There are definitely dark elements, but nothing that’s truly scary. The ending also nicely resolves an ‘ashes’ problem that could have worried kids later.

Hadley is a good character. She’s a budding ballerina who pretty much has it all. Her parents have the money to enable her to reach for the stars. They love her, and each other. She lives in a nice house and has best friends. Things seem pretty much perfect for her. She doesn’t know hardship. Not until the Grimm sisters show up. And then her life gets turned upside down.

The ‘lessons learned’ in Grimm House are timeless. Someone or something stepping in to give a ‘favored’ character an appreciation for what they have. Making them understand how good they really have it. The only difference is that in Grimm House, Hadley never comes across as the bratty character we want to see get her comeuppance. Instead, right from the beginning, she’s just a sad kid missing her parents. Still, she learns the lesson she’s meant to learn and is presumably all the better for it. And then, of course, there’s Hadley learning to depend on herself. To shore up her insides and become a confident little girl who realizes she has the power to help herself.

The ‘unlikely new friends’ mentioned in the synopsis really are unexpected. Their introduction made me giggle. Adults who have seen the old movie Joe’s Apartment are going to get a laugh out of this book. (And if you haven’t seen that ridiculous movie, you need too!) Help definitely does come from unexpected places.

Grimm House is well-paced and easy to lose yourself in. It is a children’s book, but a surprisingly enjoyable one for adults to read too. I found myself invested in how Hadley was going to escape the situation.  Karen McQuestion is a talented writer. Grimm House is suitable for ages 7+, I believe.

4 Star Rated Grimm House Review

Title: Grimm House | Author: Karen McQuestion (site) | Publisher: Nightsky Press | Pub. Date: 2015-12-1 | Pages: 202 | ISBN13: 9780986416460 | Genre: Children’s Fantasy | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Kindle Unlimited | Purchase on Amazon

Book Spotlight: How to Protect Your Neighborhood from Circus Werwolves

Book Spotlight Banner How to Protect Your Neighborhood

Coolthulhu has a special treat for you today! In honor of this most awesome month, we’re bringing special attention to a cool-looking kid’s book! So we happily present a new book spotlight on:

How to Protect Your Neighborhood From Circus Werewolves

how-to-protect-your-neighborhood-from-circus-werewolvesSynopsis: The circus is in town, and Mick Bogerman has a fail-proof plan to sneak inside the adults-only Macabre Pavilion. But there’s something weird about the A. Linville & Purnima Bros. Circus this year. Angry parents and crying kids exit early by the carload. Maybe it’s the clowns. Yes, they wear the standard stark-white faces and red bulbous noses, but underneath their painted smiles, there’s something not quite right. What’s more, after the full moon rises . . . they howl.

When Mick and his friends rescue a caged boy from the clown’s clutches they set off a series of disasters that threaten their entire neighborhood. Can Mick become the leader his neighbors need and protect them from the pack of hungry predators infiltrating their town?

ISBN13: 9780996332521

Pub. Date: September 21st, 2016

Pages: 112

Genre: Kids Fiction – Horror


Current Goodreads Rating: 4.5

Excerpt from How to Protect Your Neighborhood from Circus Werewolves:

At last I make it to the front of the food line. Since the cookie jar money paid for entrance tickets, I have to use my own money to eat. The birthday cash I’ve been saving slides easy on the counter, and two elephant ears doused in strawberries and covered with towering mounds of whipped cream land in my outstretched hands. Cinnamon steam bathes my face as I hand Finley his.

We wait for PJ while he gets an electric-blue slushy and then complains about the brain freeze. His pinkie shoots out when he grips his straw.

He notices me noticing and tucks the flyaway finger back in. With breeding and boarding school working against us, it’s gonna take me and Finley years to help PJ break his rich-kid habits.

Booger-Face swallows half a fried Twinkie in a single bite. Sponge and cream squeeze out the corners of his mouth. PJ grins at him and shows off his Smurf-stained teeth. Maybe Booger-Face’ll be the one to rub off on PJ.

Now that all five of us have something tasty stuffed into our faces, we head off to the clown tent, tinny circus music leading the way.

Scattered popcorn and peanut shells imbedded in the dirt crunch under our shoes.

I scan the crowd for Cooper. No sign of him yet, but he might already be inside. More lights flicker on as night settles in. Clouds coat the moon. A cool breeze swipes my sweat away and makes the tent fabric rustle.

“This is great,” Finley whispers by my side as we shuffle inside with a small crowd. A whipped cream grin stretches across his face.

“You bet.” I grin back at him. “Let’s see those clowns.”

Where to Buy:


Mick Bogerman is an independently-published author with 4 distinct works under his belt.

Mickey “Mick” Bogerman has lived in Beachwood, North Carolina all his life. Mostly he tries to stay out of trouble, but mostly trouble seems to find him anyway. He has a knack for antagonizing scary creatures and girls, not necessarily in that order.
Mick’s favorite subjects in school are science (slime, rockets, bugs, and rocks– what’s not to like?), gym class (running, climbing, throwing– more stuff to like), and reading (yay Mr. Corcoran lets him read whatever he likes– like comic books).
Speaking of comic books, Mick’s favorites are X-Men, Demon Knights, Spiderman and Batman.

You can reach Mick at: