Here’s a brief take on another one of the books I read for the Cybils.
Nightbooks by J.A. White. Harper Collins Childrens, 2018.
Alex is tired of being made fun of for being different. He’s on his way to burning the notebooks that set him apart as different, when his apartment elevator stops on the wrong floor. Instead of the furnace, he hears the sound of his favorite movie, Night of the Living Dead, coming from an open apartment door. He follows the sound – only to discover that he’s been trapped by a wicked witch. Once she discovers his secret, he’s set to writing horror stories to tell to the apartment. There’s another captive child as well, Yasmin, that Alex tries to convince to work with to make an escape plan – but she knows more than he does about the dark past and the many children no longer there. And their every step is watched by a nasty cat… This is a dark (but not too dark) Hansel and Gretel variant, set in a modern-day New York City that somehow manages to be very creepy and still have an affirming ending.