Thursday, 28 October 2010

The Dying Photo by Alan Gibbons

July 2010, Barrington Stoke 
72 pages, Paperback
Review copy 

Children's, Interest age 9-12 years, Reading age: 8 

Horror, lots of spine shivering moments, creepy photographers

Summary from Barrington Stoke
Jamie's shopping with his parents in Liverpool when a photographer offers to take a picture. The camera flashes. Both Jamie's parents and the photographer have gone, and all that's left is a negative fluttering to the ground. On it - Jamie's parents. And they're screaming. Can Jamie discover what's happened? Taut ghost story based on a blurb by a Year 6 boy from a Liverpool primary school who won a city-wide competition.

Nayuleska's thoughts
It's a pretty scary concept - people disappearing out of their life into a photo, not a trace to be found. Combined with the illustrations, I was almost regretting reading it after sunset. Thankfully I didn't have nightmares about it :) Jamie was living in a nightmare. His parents vanish - and are replaced by complete strangers. He begins to wonder if he is mad, and making it all up. No one says he is crazy, but he can see them thinking it. Lucky for him, he isn't the only person this has happened to. Unluckily for him, the creepy photographer is after him too. Jamie's fear is conveyed realistically, more so when he realises only he can save everyone. I liked the explanation of what polaroids are, because not everyone will have heard of them, thanks to the digital age we live in. As ever, Barrington Stoke have interesting facts about the author and illustrator in the book, as well as the process they took for getting the ideas for this book. 

Final conclusion
Don't read after dark if you freak out easily like I do. 

If you enjoyed this, try Fire Mask by Franzeska G Ewart

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