Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Spooksville #1 The Secret Path and #2 The Howling Ghost

The Spooksville series was written by Christopher Pike and was published by Simon and Schuster, presumably to compete with R. L. Stine's Goosebumps series.  The series is mild horror with all books containing supernatural events.  The series ran for 24 volumes.  The first half of the series has been reprinted, but the second half has not. As a result, the second half of the series is hard to find.  The last four to six books are very scarce and can easily cost $20 or more each.

In the back of each book is a biography of Christopher Pike.  I love it.
Little is known about Christopher Pike, although he is supposed to be a strange man.  It is rumored that he was born in New York but grew up in Los Angeles.  He has been seen in Santa Barbara lately, so he probably lives there now.  But no one really knows what he looks like, or how old he is.  It is possible that he is not a real person, but an eccentric creature visiting from another world.  When he is not writing, he sits and stares at the walls of his huge haunted house.  A short, ugly troll wanders around him in the dark and whispers scary stories in his ear.  Christopher Pike is one of this planet's best-selling authors of young adult fiction.
The series is set in Springville, which is a town somewhere on the western coast of the United States.  I assume that Springville is in California, since many of Pike's teen books are set in that state.  The unofficial name of Springville is Spooksville, because many citizens have disappeared and strange creatures roam the town.

Adam, Cindy, Watch, and Sally are the primary characters.  Adam and Cindy both recently moved to the town, and Adam is the leader of the group.  Watch wears four watches and does not seem to have a last name.  Watch wears thick glasses and cannot see well.  Sally is outspoken and rude.  She always bosses the others.  The children frequently go to a homeless man named Bum for assistance.  Bum used to be the mayor before he became homeless, and he knows all about the town's history.

In Spooksville #1, The Secret Path, Bum tells Adam, Watch, and Sally how to find the Secret Path.  The children follow his directions and end up in a dangerous alternative version of Spooksville.  The children struggle to find a way back home.

This book serves mainly as an introduction to the series.  I enjoyed it less than most books in the series, although it is okay.

In Spooksville #2, The Howling Ghost, Cindy and her brother, Neil, have recently arrived in Spooksville.  Cindy and Neil are at the beach near the abandoned lighthouse when it suddenly lights up.  Neil is sucked into the air and vanishes!  When Adam, Watch, and Sally learn about the disappearance, they introduce themselves to Cindy and offer to help her find her brother.  The children soon learn that an angry ghost occupies the lighthouse.  The children decide to explore it in hopes of finding Neil.

After I read this book, I decided to acquire all of the books in the set so that I could read them.  I enjoyed this book.

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