Cover image for The house of Boo
The house of Boo
Lewis, J. Patrick.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, [1998]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Three children visit the haunted house of Boo Scoggins on Halloween and experience scary sights and sounds.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.6 0.5 48544.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Childrens Area-Holiday
Concord Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
Crane Branch Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Holiday
Lancaster Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Holiday
Anna M. Reinstein Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday

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Three children visit the haunted house of Boo Scoggins on Halloween and experience scary sights and sounds.

Author Notes

J. Patrick Lewis was born on May 5, 1942. He is a poet and prose writer who is known for his children's poems. He worked as a professor of economics before devoting himself full-time to writing in 1998. He is the author of 90 children's books including: BoshBlobberBosh, Please Bury Me in the Library, A Hippopotamusn't, First Dog, Spot the Plot, The House, and The National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry. In 2014, his title Voices from the March on Washington, made the Hot Civil Rights Titles List.

He has received many awards from the American Library Association, The Golden Kite Award from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, the Claudia Lewis Award from The Bank Street School and others. He also received the 2010-11 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Excellence in Children's Poetry Award. He was also named the third, U.S. Children's Poet Laureate for 2011-2013 by the Poetry Foundation in Chicago.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-8. For children who like their frights unredeemed by the usual happy endings, try this spooky picture book. The rhyming verse tells of three children who climb Humpback Hill to Boo Scoggins' haunted-looking house. Frightened by a shadow on the stairs, a posted warning sign, and a cat's sudden whine, the children run down the hill, only to find a freshly dug grave with Scoggins' name on the headstone. They climb the hill again, but the house is now closed and dark. The local legend of Boo Scoggins lives on, mysterious as ever. Perhaps in part because the unusual rhyme scheme (abba / bbcb / ccdc, etc.) limits the poet's choice of end words, the story seems a bit confusing at times, but the menace comes through in the verse and in the gouache paintings. Rendered in dark colors with brighter highlights against black backgrounds, the dramatic illustrations create an eerie atmosphere suitable for this unusual Halloween poem. --Carolyn Phelan

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-5-This chilling Halloween poem falls just short of being great. Three children, dressed as ghosts, check out Boo Scoggins's house on Humpback Hill. Yet exactly what transpires there will be unclear to readers. Despite a couple of stumbles, the nimble verse trippingly sets a spooky mood, especially when read aloud (e.g., "Somewhere a cat unwound a whine..." or "In dark woods thick with creeper vine..."), yet ultimately makes the action difficult to follow. The gouache illustrations are wonderfully dark. Krénina uses purple and green shades of black to illuminate the scenes. Contrasted with the orange typeface, the full-spread paintings combine with the words to create the perfect atmosphere. However, in the end, it seems that this book is nothing but atmosphere. The ambiguous and confusing conclusion will leave some readers cold instead of "chilled." Still, many kids enjoy even an empty scare-that kind of deliberate fright that they can invent out of anything-and so might appreciate this book.-Nina Lindsay, Vista School, Albany, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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