Haunted: Field of Screams by Joel A. Sutherland. Sourcebooks, 9781728225944, 2019
Format: Hardcover, 192 pages
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3
Genre: Horror Fiction
What did you like about the book? This simple tale begins with Darius and Ryan, cousins, who are about to take part in a family tradition, attending Fall Fright at Wight Farm. Still dealing with the death of his father, Darius is hesitant to attend, yet gives in to his cousin. As they begin the corn maze, they are accosted by actors and, to their dismay, actual evil spirits out for blood. Talking with the owner of the farm only complicates matters as the boys discover a dark and sinister history surrounding the farm and its inhabitants. Suspense increases as the evil grows and more of the story unfolds. Not overly gory or scary, this tale is simply written so that older horror fans, who are struggling readers, will be able to enjoy the story. Readers of other books in the Haunted series will appreciate this tale.
Anything you didn’t like about it? The story was not overly complicated, appropriate for a younger reading audience. Older readers may find the tale too watered down and not as scary as they might be hoping for. Darius and Ryan do frequently engage in reckless behavior such as going into stranger’s houses. Character development is minimal for the main characters, even less for supporting players.
To whom would you recommend this book? Readers in grades 3 and up who enjoy horror like Goosebumps, without the humor, or who enjoyed the other tales in the haunted series, would enjoy this novel.
Who should buy this book? This would be a good purchase for elementary or intermediate schools or public libraries who cannot get enough horror for younger readers.
Where would you shelve it? Horror Fiction
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? I feel that this title would reside near the middle of the “to read” pile.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Elena Schuck, Nathaniel H. Wixon School Library, Dennis, Massachusetts
Date of review: May 27, 2020