FANTASTIC FRIDAY: Scary School #3 & #4 by Derek the Ghost


In The Northern Frights, the third book in the spooky Scary School series, Charles “New Kid” Nukid and his friends, including Lattie, a girl ninja, must fight an epic battle with an ice dragon to save their school. But first they must survive going to Scream Academy as exchange students. And that may be hard, because the Academy has an abominable snowman for a principal, a Headless Horseman as one of the teachers, and the students are yetis, trolls, and ogres!

Will Charles survive to make an ancient prophecy come to pass and save everyone? The illustrated Scary School trilogy by Derek the Ghost, with its mix of humor, scares, and adventure, is a perfect pick for middle-grade readers of the Wayside School series and the Zach Files books.


There aren't a lot of 'scary' books out there that are more funny than scary.  This third book in the series revolves around Charles Nukid and some friends from Scary School heading out on an exchange trip with another monster school called Scream Academy.  Unfortunately for Charles, their visit revolves around an old prophecy involving a human boy facing off with an evil dragon.  But for Charles who constantly obsesses about following the rules the thought of facing a dragon makes him want to run away, plus just surviving the school itself seems impossible.  The snide comments by the 'author', Derek the Ghost add to the snarky feel of the book.  Lots of monsterly fun that works well for young readers who prefer a little less scary with their scary reads.


After defeating the fearsome Ice Dragon, the students of Scary School were in full celebration mode with an awesome parade leading up to the Dance of Destiny. But when a bearodactyl snatches Charles Nukid and flies him to Monster Kingdom, his friends have to figure out a way to rescue him before he's served as lunch to one of the kingdom's horrifying creatures. Little do his friends know that he's actually been taken there to be crowned the next monster king after defeating King Zog in battle. But no sooner is he crowned than he is challenged by Turlock the Troll. While trying to avoid getting crushed by Turlock's crew, one of them breaks the Zombie Control Lever, which was keeping all the zombies of the world good and not ravenous for brains. Charles's friends arrive in the nick of time after barely surviving a zombie attack at Scary School. Reunited, they now have to find the one unicorn in existence whose magic is powerful enough to turn all the zombies back to good before every monster and human alike are turned into the mindless brain-eating dead.


Disaster strikes when Charles Nukid gets kidnapped by a bearodactyl and carried off to become the king of the monsters (much to his dismay).  The problem gets bigger when he is challenged for the throne and the unicorn horn keeping the zombies under control gets destroyed.  Feeling responsible, Charles sets off with Dr. Dragonbreath and his friend Penny to find a new unicorn horn.  Meanwhile, the others at Scary School are forced to deal with the zombies trying to eat their brains.  But things get worse instead of better with more and more characters turning into zombies and Charles having a falling out with his friends.  Can a solution be found or will the whole world be zombified?

Despite the editorial issues (the book needed more editing, I found a lot of mistakes in it), the fun voice that is Derek the Ghost carries the day once again.  I think the thing that I enjoy most about the Scary School stories is that they aren't overly predictable, there always seems to be some surprises jumping out at the reader, which makes for a lot of humor and unexpected events.  A fun and final addition to the series.


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