Monster Members Only! Ethan Long Presents...Fright Club by Ethan Long
IT WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE HALLOWEEN WHEN VLADIMIR CALLED ONE LAST FRIGHT CLUB MEETING TO GO OVER OPERATION KID SCARE.
All the legacy members are in attendance--Vlad the Vampire, Fran K. Stein, Sandy Witch, Virginia Wolf(man), and the other usual suspects--mummies, ghosts, zombies, and ghouls--all certified FRIGHTFUL.
But a review of the charter members terrifying techniques shows that they are all a bit rusty at being horrific. Vladimir is just launching into a lecture when there's a timid knock at the door. When Vlad grudgingly opens up, there is an adorable pink-eared bunny on his doorstep, asking to join the club.
"YOU? IN FRIGHT CLUB? THAT'S SUCH A CUTE IDEA!
BUT I AM AFRAID FRIGHT CLUB IS FOR MONSTERS ONLY. SHOO!
But Bunny is not easily abashed at being on the outside looking in. And he's not alone, either. He gathers his own cadre of outsiders and is soon back with legal assistance--Frances Foxx, attorney-at-law, waving a discrimination suit brief, on behalf of all the cutesy critters being denied membership. Vlad slams the trapdoor in their faces, but they are soon back with a passel of sign-carrying, shouting protesters:
"HISS, MOAN, BOO! WE CAN SCARE, TOO!"
And in Halloween's Operation Kid Scare, the new pledges of the Fright Club fraternity join the monsters in a very scary Fright Night caper, in Ethan Long's Fright Club (Bloomsbury Books, 2015). A winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel award for beginning reader books (for Up, Tall and High) puts his winning cartoon ways to work in this not-to-frightful Halloween tale for early graders. Great for reading aloud (the opportunities for silly voices are wide open here) and not too hard for primary readers, this one has a worthy premise of how it feels to be on the outside looking in, all in this clever story of a spooky clique outwitted and outspooked. As Publishers Weekly points out, "Long’s dark, ghostly palette sets an appropriately eerie mood, and he has a lot of fun with the cuddly animals’ reign of terror (a butterfly wields chains, Jacob Marley style, as it chases a ghost)."