Age group: ages 6–10
In a market flooded with formulaic series books, there’s always a need for well-written thoughtful chapter books that help kids make the transition from picture book to novel. The Ghouls’ Night Out fills this niche admirably. The story is told in seven short chapters, with plentiful black-and-white illustrations. Janice MacDonald’s writing is straightforward and her gentle, tongue-in-cheek humour carries the story effortlessly. Newly independent readers will be pleased to realize that they understand more about what’s happening than the main characters do. Halloween is the main theme of the story, but there’s nothing even faintly Goosebumpy here. This is a wonderful book to encourage developing readers to explore on their own. It’s easy for a slight book from a small publisher to get lost in the shuffle. I hope The Ghouls’ Night Out gets the attention it deserves.