Invasion of the Appleheads by Annette and Gina Cascone
Target audience: Ages 8-12
When Katie's family moves to the sleepy town of Appleton, Katie and her brother Andy imagine endless days of boredom. They were very wrong. On the night before Halloween their parents take them to a haunted hayride at the local apple orchard where things get interesting but not in a good way. According to legend the orchard was once owned by a witch who used a potion to poison the apples and turned all the children into zombies. The ghouls and witches running the orchard are eerily realistic. Their parents, thinking they'd finally hit pay dirt with something cool for the kids, don't see what's really happening until it's too late. The kids discover that the witches are using the apple cider to turn the adults into appleheads and the kids into zombies. Katie and Andy must team together, use their wits and find a way to stop the invasion and save their parents and the town. Cascone offers up a roller coaster ride of spooky fun. There is no need for illustrations with such creepy and grotesquely detailed descriptions of the evil taking over the town. Though the parents are a bit clueless, this approach does allow for the children to solve the mystery unimpeded. The story ends abruptly with the hint of the next disaster looming allowing readers to imagine one their own what comes next. This book is part of the Deadtime Stories series, but each installment stands alone with unique characters.
(This book was provided for review by children's lit - www.childrenslit.com )