Book Review│Cursed by Thomas Wheeler

cursedAs a middle school teacher I am constantly looking for new books that will entice teenagers to read. I also like to find books that take on old material that I still believe my students should be exposed to, but will probably not be into if I used the original source material. I was very excited to receive a galley of Cursed for these reasons and also, because it has been optioned by Netflix to become a series.

King Arthur’s Court

Cursed brings us into the Arthurian Tales, but with a new spin to it. We learn that there is a sword in the stone and that whomever pulls it, will become the new king of the realm. What everyone was not prepared for is that the chosen one may very well not be a man at all. What if that new ruler was, in fact, a queen?

A Dark Druid Rising

Nimsue is an outcast in her Druid village. She is frequently drawn to the dark arts and it leaves her feeling alone and also feared by her fellow villagers. When her village is attacked and ultimately slaughtered by the Red Palladins, Nimsue, becomes charged to bring back the ancient sword to a powerful sorcerer as her mother lays dying.

Teaming up with a mercenary named Arthur and refugee Fey Folk from across England, Nimsue is on a mission to save her people and avenge her mother’s death. The visuals are amazing throughout and the style of the story will keep students reading.

However, the book reads more like a screenplay in that it jumps quickly from scene to scene and is clearly written for its eventual Netflix debut. This can either be confusing for students or it could keep their attention with the choppiness of the writing. I think it would heavily depend on the audience in your classroom.

When this series eventually does come to Netflix, it could be really helpful in creating interactive lessons around the story versus the Netflix episodes. Students will love the visuals which really brought this book to life for me.

Book Information

Cursed by Thomas Wheeler will be available for purchase on October 1, 2019 from Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers with ISBN 9781534425330. To be linked to special pre-ordering pricing click the link at the top of this section. This review corresponds to an advanced electronic galley that was supplied by the publisher in exchange for this review.

Book Review│The Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll by Thomas Kingsley Troupe

dead eyed dollThomas Kingsley Troupe’s The Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll is scheduled to be released just in time for my favorite season: FALL!! Troupe’s book is a fictional encounter with one of the creepier things that exist in the world. Have you ever heard of Robert the Doll? He currently lives in a museum in Florida, but legend has it, he haunted the life of his former owner for years…well into the boy’s adulthood, marriage and eventual death.

Robert the Doll

Robert the Doll belonged to Robert Eugene Otto who lived in Key West, Florida. The doll was a gift to Robert from his grandfather for his birthday. As legend has it, the Robert used to blame any childhood mishap on the doll and soon the doll developed his own awareness to the world around him and later would move things around the room and disappear and reappear in different areas of the house. In his later years, Robert would the doll his own room where he would live until Robert and his wife later died. The new owner of their home described many supernatural occurrences involving the doll which would later be blamed for a variety of misfortunes including broken bones, car accidents and divorces. Today, Robert the Doll has a new home in a museum where visitors can see him first hand, but must heed his warnings of asking permission before taking his picture and must mind their manners, if not, Robert will take his revenge on you.

The Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll

Troupe’s novel is a short read, about 47 pages. It tells the story of Al, a young boy who takes part in a field trip to the museum to meet Robert the Doll. He and his friend, Selma are skeptical about Robert the Doll, but Selma also is fearful of the doll because as she says, but what if it IS real? She leaves Al alone with the doll and Al takes it upon himself to take a picture of Robert without his permission, completely disregarding the warning signs and the letters from people who have done the exact same thing to Robert in the past and have later had to apologize for their behavior. Al will later come to regret his decision as strange things start happening to Al and to those around him. Al must figure out how to accept that there are certain things in life that are just unexplainable and need to be respected…Robert the Doll is one of them.

The Haunted States of America Series

The Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll by Thomas Kingsley Troupe is the latest middle grades horror story in the Haunted States of America Series. This book series showcases a haunted tale from one of the 50 states with easy language and mild illustrations that help bring the creepy story to life. As a kid who grew up on RL Stine, I would definitely invest in this series for my son when he is older and looking for a creepy bedtime story. As a teacher, I would pick these up for early middle-grade readers who need a high-interest story to keep them motivated. Other books in Troupe’s Haunted States of America Series include Beware the Bell Witch, Ghostly Reunion, Spirits of the Storm and Trapped in Room 217

About the Author

Thomas Kingsley Troupe is a native of Minnesota. He has written numerous fiction and non-fiction books with many being geared more towards kids. His series include the Haunted in America Series as well as Hauntiques and Furry & Flo. When he is not writing, he enjoys ghost hunts and campy movies.

Book Information

Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll (Haunted States of America) by Thomas Kingsley Troupe will be released on September 1, 2019 from Jolly Fish Press with ISBN 9781631633485. This review corresponds to an advanced electronic galley that was supplied by the publisher in exchange for this review.