Long time no see! I kinda fell off the surface of the planet for a bit. Maybe you noticed. My job last school year tried to kill me but somehow I survived long enough to land my dream job as an elementary school librarian. It’s keeping me extraordinarily busy but I go home with a smile on my face now! My new boss is amazing! She encourages creativity, which as you might imagine, I love!
I hope you are all having an excellent fall. This is when I miss living up north, when the fall leaves turn. In Texas, the leaves turn colors one day, the weather is gorgeous, then we get a big thunderstorm blow through and all the beautiful leaves are gone. Boom. Just like that! Fall is over and it’s cold and windy for the next few months. (without the beautiful snow)
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to WOW (Women of Writing) for connecting me with these books and the author!
AJ Kormon started out writing books about money to help explain the concept to her kids. As her kids got older, they showed signs of not wanting to read, so she enlisted their help creating a series for resistant readers. This is how the Halloway Hills Middle School Mysteries were born. When AJ isn’t writing and cartooning, you’ll find her losing to her kids at Uno.
Halloway Hills Middle School Mysteries
Hiding Out on Halloween
by A.J. Korman
Becky and her gang of friends have been bullying Avery IRL and online. Avery and his friend Jordan are able to get their hands on a much coveted Minecraft book from the school library before anyone else could get their hands on it. Becky is not at all happy about this! In the game, Avery splashes Becky with some of the new invisibility potion he made with the help of the book. She disappears from the game. The next day, she’s not at school. She’s not at home. She disappeared in real life. That can’t be possible! Avery is determined to solve the mystery of what happened to Becky and make things right. Meanwhile, he is being stalked by a black cat. Seriously, it’s following him everywhere for some reason. And Halloween is coming up soon. This was Avery’s mom’s favorite holiday before she passed, and Avery is still learning to cope without his mom.
The book starts off with a warning of sorts. AJ is Canadian and uses spelling appropriate for a Canadian writers. I only noticed a couple of spelling differences and it didn’t bother me in the slightest. I read a lot of British authors too, so spelling differences don’t bother me in general. This story contains some really great lines like this one: “The thing is, with Jordan being the shortest girl in grade seven and Becky the tallest, it was funny to see the two facing off. It was like a Chihuahua thinking it was the same size as a Great Dane.”
Overall, the story is not as tight as I would like, but the author is creative and tells a good story. I assumed since middle school was in the title, that this would be a middle school level book. It is more appropriate for elementary, second grade through fifth grade. The sentence structure is simple and easy to read, as is the plot line. This is great for a reluctant reader who wants a good mystery. Even though this was a Halloween story, there is nothing scary about the story. Again perfect for elementary! What I liked most about this story was that AJ didn’t shy away from tough subjects like loosing someone close to you. The portrayal of that grief was authentic. Grief is hard to deal with and not always pretty, but given enough time, you can weather the storm of emotions and build a new life. This part of the story was beautifully done.
Find A.J. Kormon at:
This book is on a blog tour this month, so please check out these other blogs too. This post has links to all the other blogs. https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/2021/10/halloway-hills-middle-school-blog-tour.html
In November, look for a guest blog post from AJ!