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Hide and Seeker by Daka Hermon #BookReview

One of our most iconic childhood games receives a creepy twist as it becomes the gateway to a nightmare world.

I went up the hill, the hill was muddy, stomped my toe and made it bloody, should I wash it?

Justin knows that something is wrong with his best friend. Zee went missing for a year. And when he came back, he was . . . different. Nobody knows what happened to him. At Zee’s welcome home party, Justin and the neighborhood crew play Hide and Seek. But it goes wrong. Very wrong.

One by one, everyone who plays the game disappears, pulled into a world of nightmares come to life. Justin and his friends realize this horrible place is where Zee had been trapped. All they can do now is hide from the Seeker.

A Black child has their face partially covered with their hands; one eye peeks out. A large shadow monster creeps up behind them and the title is in bold red letters.

Title: Hide and Seeker Author: Daka Hermon | Publisher: Scholastic  | Pub. Date: 15 September 2020 | Pages: 320 | ISBN: 9781338583625 | Genre: Horror | Language: English |  Source: Library | Starred Review

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Hide and Seeker  Review

Older readers should not sleep on middle grade horror. Horror marketed for younger audiences can still be scary, still provide entertainment, and the very best ones hit close to the heart. Daka Hermon’s novel, Hide and Seeker, is one book that does all three. Mysterious, heart-wrenching, and yeah, scary; this novel is sure to appeal to a wide range of readers.

Readers will follow Justin and his group of friends as they navigate real world issues as well as an untold horror that is beginning to plague their neighborhood. No one is safe and the race is on to figure it all out before the life they know is gone. Hermon does a wonderful job of creating character with depth; they really feel like REAL kids. Their struggles and decisions all ring true which is important no matter the grade level of the text. Consequently, readers will buy in to all parts of the book. This allows, then, for real emotions to bleed through. Sadness. Anxiety. Terror. Hope.

“…but is it SCARY?” It depends. For older readers the monster will still a be a bit scary, but the real issues might affect them more. We see things differently as we get older. Younger readers who are able to identify on a current level with the characters will likely be more invested and therefore the payoffs are larger.

The author also keeps up a great pace that will keep readers of all ages engaged and blazing through the pages. Even young, perhaps reluctant, readers will love this; the horror bits and the amazing story line plays out just as if it were playing on big screen. Plus, Hide and Seeker has a diverse group of characters which will allow more students to be able to see themselves represented in the book.

Recommended for readers of all ages, Hide and Seeker is a horror novel with heart that explores “coming of age” in a fresh, unique way.

  You can purchase a copy of this book via your normal retailer, but please consider purchasing it from a local indie bookshop instead. It may be found here at Indiebound or at BookShop. Please note the Bookshop link is an affiliate link and each purchase you make through it helps to support Sci-Fi & Scary and keep the site running.

Published inHorror Book ReviewsStarred Reviews

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