I’ve got a really creepy middle grade for you today. It is Fog by Caroline B. Cooney.
This is book one in the Fog, Snow and Fire trilogy. Originally published back in ’89, Scholastic is bringing it back for another go. Christina is a child of the island. But now that she is in sixth grade, she must head to the mainland for schooling. She is so excited to go, until she hears tales of the cruelty and superiority of the mainland folk.
To make things worse. This year the children from the island are all being housed by the principal and his wife, the Shevvington’s. All the adults love the principal. Why is it that only Christina can see past his smiles to the cold evil underneath? An evil that is slowly destroying her friend and fellow islander, Anya.
This is a weird and creepy book. There’s all sorts of mysterious happenings, omens, visions and evil people. At first the reader is drawn into the story with tales of island magic and mischief. But once on the mainland, those tales turn scary. And the worst part, as the reader I couldn’t figure out what all the omens were about, I just knew something bad was happening. There’s a poster of the sea that haunts the students, and a strange man in scuba gear that patrols the shoreline. We also have the Shevvington’s, an evil couple, but you never quite know who or what they really are.
I finished the book shaken. Especially since the author throws in a curve ball right at the end, right when you think Christina is safe. Wow, well done.