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Horror Predator (nature) vs Prey (humans) done right for children and up

Pub Date 30 Jul 2024

Random House Children's, Delacorte Press

Middle Grade Horror

My review

5 plus

There are two types of horror/thriller books for me. The ones we read only once and the ones that although you already know what is going to happen you read again for the thrill of the journey and specific scenes (that is Jurassic Park for me I reread it a lot). This one is like that. I loved it. I can reread it and still feel the thrill, the panic, the fear of being hunted, surrounded because it is well written.

Jenna's best friend Reese follows Jenna to a summer camp but ends up being kidnapped by something that no one believes exists. Because no one believes in Jenna (twelve years old) she decides to go back to the woods and take matters into her own hands by joining another camp. Whatever happens, Jenna won't let Reese down.

I couldn't put it down, read it in one sitting. Love a book with a theme going into the woods, or predator vs prey. This is my first contact with the author and now I am curious to read more.

Great Scout/camping tips. The news clips between chapters add to the tension. Some prejudice. Adults refusing to believe in children, support from family, new friendships, loyalty, courage, and respect for nature by acknowledging the dangers. Not letting fear control us or our lives.

Thank you, Publisher and Netgalley for the digital copy.

From Amazon or B&N.

From the Publisher:

The legend of Bigfoot gets a bone-chilling update in this scary story about a young girl and her scout troop who are willing to brave the woods to find her missing friend when no one else will. Perfect for fans of Daka Hermon and Claribel A. Ortega!

The wilderness is in Jenna’s blood. Her Pap was the first Black park ranger at Sturbridge Reservation, and she practically knows the Owlet Survival Handbook by heart. But she’s never encountered a creature like the one that took her best friend Reese. Her parents don’t believe her; the police are worthless, following the wrong leads; and the media isn’t connecting the dots between Reese’s disappearance and a string of other attacks. Determined to save her friend, Jenna joins a new local scout troop, and ventures back into the woods.

When the troop stumbles across suspicious signs: huge human-like footprints near the camp, scratch marks on trees, and ominous sounds from the woods, Jenna worries that whatever took Reese is back to take her too. Can she trust her new scout leader? And will her new friend Norrie—who makes her laugh and reminds her so much of Reese—believe her?

After the unthinkable happens, the scouts, armed with their wits and toiletries, band together to fight the monster and survive the night.

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