Room of Shadows by Ronald Kidd
Review by Lauren
source: copy from ALA17; all opinions are my own
Official Summary (add on Goodreads): 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?
Review: Before attending ALA this past June, I made sure to look at all the authors who were attending to see if there were any books I was interested in. I came across Room of Shadows and was immediately intrigued by this middle grade novel, and luckily, I was able to get a signed ARC at the conference.
David Cray is in middle school, dealing with his anger at his dad leaving and him having to live in a new house, which happens to be run down and really freaky looking. It’s not just looks either. It’s not long before David realizes that the house might be haunted…or something. Really, he’s not sure what is happening. There’s a secret room he can enter through his closet, full of writing materials and a raven statue. While this is certainly weird, things get even creepier when people David dislikes or has confrontations with start to end up in scenarios that could easily kill them. Each time, there is a poem left behind, signed only the Raven.
Whether you read the official summary or not, it might be obvious to prolific readers that things are starting resembling the stories of Edgar Allan Poe. In fact, the deadly scenarios I mention earlier are taken right from the pages of Poe’s work. I’m a big fan of Poe – his life and his work – so it was intriguing to see how the author melded these things into a suspenseful middle grade novel. I think Kidd did a great job introducing Poe’s work in this unique story. I thought the overall plot was done well – I was really interested in the Raven and how they came to be. This is a quick, exciting read!
I didn’t know about it but it sounds good and I love the cover!
That’s great. I wouldn’t necessarily think of Mid-Grade and Poe lol
For What It’s Worth
I have never read an Edgar Alan Poe novel although I really want to. I am very intrigued by him and his quotes that I always stumble upon. I just never hunkered down to read anything by him. MAybe this would be something that I’d like to read!
It’s a nice introduction to some of his short stories – as well as The Raven, of course. I took a whole class on Poe in college and it was great! He’s a fascinating person and he wrote some of the first detective fiction stories. I think Arthur Conan Doyle was even inspired by him when writing Sherlock.
Well, I love Poe, so this intrigues me. Might need to get and hold for my grandbabies.
This sounds really interesting! I read the Raven years ago and saw a movie about it too.
Oh yea… Poe, the Raven… count me in! I’m so glad you enjoyed it and now I’m more curious about it than before! Brilly review.
Very interesting and quite clever! I love the idea.
This sounds so great! I love Poe so I’m going to have to get this one for my son so that we can continue to bond over books 🙂
A MG novel inspired by Poe sounds pretty cool. And I like that this one should appeal to boys.
I love the illustration on this book cover! How pretty!
I was totally thinking Poe has I read the overview! This book sounds soo good!
I’m going to recommend this book to my friend who teaches 8th grade. Sounds like a wonderful book for her to have in her library at school
Yay! I hope she likes the sound of it.
This sounds like a great MG story. And I love that cover!
I think it’s awesome that this book incorporates classic literature into MG form. I think that there is so much room in MG for incredible stories, just like there is in YA an adult, and I love seeing that potential used!
The story of this sounds really interesting, and something I could see myself enjoying. I’m going to try and read some more MG novels next year, so I will try and keep this one in mind 😀
Lovely review, Lauren!
You are absolutely correct! I enjoyed reading through this and I will certainly get back for more immediately. My website is on bitcoin to bank account, you could take a glance if you’re still interested in this.