Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer

THE GHOST PRISON by Joseph Delaney and Scott M. Fischer

Joseph Delaney The Ghost Prison

The Ghost Prison by Joseph Delaney and Scott M. Fischer is an awesome little story chockfull of beautiful and creepy illustrations. The narrative is short enough to be read aloud in a sitting – preferably by candlelight to listeners young enough to get totally involved in the story.

I had a blast with this one. I love Delaney’s books, but this longish short story is perfect for an evening’s entertainment with an audience that loves being read to and who don’t mind getting the chills while their hearts race.

Billy Calder is summoned from an orphanage to become a night guard at the ghost jail. The place is called the ghost jail because ghosts of executed witches and other evil things linger after they’ve been hung or drowned. But it’s packed with other creatures that go bump in the night as well.

The story is perfectly paced. The introduction is suitably scary and ominous, and everyone knows that Billy shouldn’t go down to feed the thing that is imprisoned in the witch’s well. Everyone also knows that Billy will eventually be summoned to do that very thing – and that’s when the excitement ramps up and becomes unbearable.

I had a great time reading the story, but the whole time I was there turning pages, I couldn’t help but think how much better the whole experience would be if I was reading it aloud to a roomful of kids while jack o’ lanterns sat watching with baleful orange gazes.

Scott M. Fischer’s illustrations are perfect for showing off to a captive audience and set the stage for creative minds to provide even more fearful surroundings.

This is the perfect book to share during Halloween, but you’ll want to make sure your audience can capably deal with the scares that grow larger with each turned page.

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