Saturday, July 11, 2015

Saturday Shout-Out: You're Invited to a Creepover!

AUTHOR: P.J. Night
PUBLISHER: Simon Spotlight
NUMBER IN SERIES: 20 (as of July 2015)
GENRE: Horror
GRADE LEVELS: 5-9
READALIKES: Goosebmps (Stine); Tales for the Midnight Hour (Stamper); Saranormal series (Rivers)


Today's Saturday Shout-out goes to P. J. Night's You're Invited to a Creepover! series. This series was brought to my attention by one of my seventh grade girls. I had not previously heard of it, but on her recommendation, I ordered the first 16 books in the series (there are now 20 in the series).

At first, the series didn't really move much in my library. After a couple of weeks, I booktalked it. Though I hadn't personally read the series, I showed some of the covers and talked about the blurbs. I compared it to Stine's Goosebumps series, which is endlessly popular, no matter what school or grade level I work with.

After a few booktalks, it wasn't long before all 16 books were checked out, with hold requests. The books remained extremely popular for the remainder of the school year, about two months from when I first booktalked them. I can't wait to introduce this series to my incoming sixth graders this fall! I will also reintroduce the series with seventh and eighth graders early in the school year. I know there were students whose holds were not filled before the summer holidays.

TIPS FOR BOOKTALKING THIS SERIES: I am a big proponent of booktalking a wide variety of titles, even if you haven't read them. It does take some getting-used to, but if you only booktalk books you have read, your students are missing out on great titles that you haven't read. The truth is, you can't read everything in your library. Some tips for booktalking this series:



  • Use PowerPoint, Prezi, EMaze, or other presentation software to show the front covers of the books. Point out the creepy facial expressions of some of the girls on the front covers. Also point out how all of the covers feature female characters. One of my favorite covers for this is Ready for a Scare?--check out that girl's crazy eyes:
    click for larger image



  • Read blurbs of a couple of the books. Either read the blurb aloud or summarize the blurb for the students.



  • For classes with reluctant readers, point out how short the books are. At only about 150 pages each, these books seem less-threatening to students who don't enjoy reading.

  • Have you read this series? Is it popular in your school? Am I the only one who hadn't heard of it yet? Share your thoughts in the (CAPTCHA-FREE!) comments section below.

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    1 comment:

    1. I definitely have this series, as well as the Sara Normal. I love that these don't have to be read in order. The Scholastic Poison Apple books go out frequently as well. Kidlitcon is having a panel on horror for children with Mary Downing Hahn and Tracey Baptiste on it in October!

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