Archive for Scary Tales

A Horrifying Way to Kickoff Summer Reading

Good News! Here’s a horrifying way to kick off summer reading and a great gift idea.
In about two weeks, on June 25th, Square Fish/Macmillan will be putting out a 304-page compilation that brings together three of my “Scary Tales” books in one volume: One-Eyed Doll, Nightmareland, and Swamp Monster. All for only $8.99 (cheap!).
   
For this series, I wanted more freedom than I had with Jigsaw Jones (42 books!), so each story features different characters and unique settings. I love that three of these stories can now be read in one big book. Best for grades 3-5, though I’ve met many middle-school readers who’ve loved the books. This larger volume will not look at all “too young” or “babyish,” removing any stigma an older reader might experience reading what looks like an “easy” book. 
I wrote these in the tradition of the great old “high-lo” concept. Fast-paced, high-interest stories, easy to read text, amazing illustrations by Iacapo Bruno, in the hopes of appealing to those hard-to-reach reluctant readers.
Thanks!

GREAT NEWS: Four Books Coming in 2024!

 

Four new books? Well, ish.

I’ll explain.

 

COMING APRIL 23rd . . .

BLOOD MOUNTAIN

 

 

Not quite new, but . . . a new cover and new in paperback. Surely that counts for something. Grace and Carter and their dog, Sitka, struggle to survive in a mountain wilderness. Ages 9-up.

A Junior Library Guild Selection!

 

COMING JUNE 25th . . .

SCARY TALES: 3 SPOOKY STORIES IN 1

I’m thrilled about this 300-page collection, which brings together Nightmareland, One Eyed Doll and Swamp Monster in one heart-stopping, fast-paced collection. All for only $8.99. It is literally the deal of the century. Featuring the incredible art of Iacopo Bruno. Ages 8-up.

COMING SEPT. 10th . . .

SHAKEN (Hardcover)

For 7th-grader Kristy Barrett, soccer is life. It has always been at the center of Kristy’s world. Her friendships and self-worth, her dreams and daily activities, all revolve around the sport. Until she suffers from a serious concussion and has to set soccer aside. Kristy begins to experience stress, anxiety, and panic attacks which ultimately bring her to some questionable decisions . . . and the care of a therapist. Ages 10-up.

 

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST . . .

 

COMING IN SEPTEMBER 24th . . .

TWO BIRDS . . . AND A MOOSE!

 

A Level 1 easy-reader featuring an aspirational moose! I’m so happy to have a new book out for the youngest readers. My first at this age level since Wake Me In Spring and Hiccups for Elephant. Ages 3-6.

 

So that’s that.  My year in books. 

 

I’m proud of the range here. A well-reviewed wilderness survival thriller . . . three popular “horror” tales for readers who can’t get enough of heart-pumping, scary stories . . . an ambitious hardcover about a 7th-grade athlete whose life spirals after suffering from post-concussion syndrome . . . and an irrepressible moose who only wants to go up, up, up!

 

It’s not too early to think about school visits in 2024-25!

 

Scary Tales, Indeed!

Why mess around? Collect all six. 

Grades 3-6. Paperback. Cheap!

LOCALS: Come See Me This Saturday, 10/21, at the Open Door Bookstore!

I’ll be signing a range of books, I imagine, but mostly we’ll be celebrating 50 years of the fabulous Open Door bookstore. What an accomplishment, what a service to our community. 

For this visit, we’ll be focusing on some of my spookier titles — Exit 13 and the “Scary Tales” series — but there’s also just a big, wonderful, glorious store to visit and support. Put your money where your values are. 

Please stop by and say hello.

ONE-EYED DOLL Published In Persian, Featured in the “Tehran Times”

Take a minute, study hard, and tell me if you can notice any subtle differences in the covers . . . 

Yes, okay, correct: one is red and the other is orange. And yes again. The image of the doll has been reversed! Very good. Now look closer at the words. That’s right! The book on top was published in Persian. How cool is that?

Thanks to Google Alerts, I found this article from the Tehran Times yesterday:

TEHRAN – “One-Eyed Doll” by American children’s book writer James Preller has been published in Persian.

Cheshmeh is the publisher of the book translated into Persian by Maedeh Mortazavi.

Welcome. Have a seat. The doll will move if you ask nicely. She’s got a story to tell. But be warned. One-Eyed Doll isn’t just any tale. This is a scary tale.

Meet Malick Rice and his sister, Tiana, two kids who love to hunt for hidden treasure and are about to make their biggest find yet: a small box, tightly locked, buried behind a deserted house; a box meant to stay buried forever… in this bone-chilling tale from James Preller and Iacopo Bruno.

Preller is the author of the popular “Jigsaw Jones” mystery books. 

He has also written widely for young readers of all ages, from picture books to young adult novels. Some middle-grade titles include “Blood Mountain”, “Bystander”, named a 2009 Junior Library Guild Selection; “Six Innings”, an ALA Notable Book; “The Courage Test”, a 2016 Junior Library Guild Selection; “The Fall”, a YALSA award-winner; “Better Off Undead”; and, “Before You Go” — as well as the “Scary Tales” and the “Big Idea Gang” series. 

Younger readers might enjoy his pirate-themed books (“A Pirate’s Guide to First Grade”) and an upcoming picture book of haiku, “All Welcome Here”. 

He lives in Delmar, New York, and gratefully visits schools around the country.

 

Anyway, just sharing. Once you put a book out into the world, there’s no telling where it might end up! 

And while it’s unlikely that Maedeh will find this blog post, thank you, Maedeh Mortazavi, for translating my English into Persian. I hope you enjoyed the experience.