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The Beast of Harwood Forest - Dan Smith

A short, sharp scare of a book, perfect for KS2 readers, in the style of Stranger Things/X-Files, for those of you old enough to recognise those references! It had a real feel of 80s style horror/thriller movies like Gremilns/Goonies, which I absolutely loved ( see my reviews of Harrow Lake, Crater Lake etc for similar).

Following the adventures of a group of schoolfriends as they visit a summer camp and explore the mysterious woods and abandoned buildings nearby to check up on the validity of claims a monster lives there, this is sure to thrill and delight older ( I'd suggest KS2+) readers.

I loved the idea that the spooky tales that the camp workers were trying to scare the children with were actually less scary than the actual experiences of the children!

With a clever twist in the ending ( bit I'm saying no more: no spoilers here!), this was a great, snappily-paced scary read that I can't wait to share with my Y6, already huge fans of Crater Lake and similar, and to which this would be a great companion text.

Out now, from Barrington Stoke, you can find out more via their website

You can follow author, Dan Smith, on Twitter as @DanSmithAuthor or via his website

The illustrations in the book and the fantastic front cover are by Chris King, who is on Twitter as @ChrisKingArt

Thank you to Barrington Stoke for sending me a copy to review.

Review by Rich Simpson (@richreadalot) Mat 2021

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