|Trapped in Room 217 byThomas Kingsley Troupe|
So, like several other readers of the book, I didn't realize it was "middle grade" when I downloaded it, it took me a little while to realize that this was not a poorly written adult thriller, but rather, a fairly well written kiddy thriller. (From what I've learned over the years, the two are basically the same thing, barring any excessive gorey content.) While this isn't my normal reading fare, I still read it, and I still feel like I should share my thoughts with you guys!
The premise is super trope-y: sister and brother get stuck in a haunted hotel room all day while dad works. The haunted hotel is the Stanley hotel. The room is number 217.
So you see where this is going.
(I feel like it's similar to a pilgrimage for horror fans, isn't it?) and it was fun seeing how accurate the descriptions of the hotel were. Jayla and Dion were very reminiscent of some of MY childhood faves, The Boxcar Children and Encyclopedia Brown, about the whole situation, and instead of telling their father what's happening, they decide to get to the bottom of it themselves. These are my kind of kids! They, of course, make friends with the caretaker (who is not insane, but does live on site. He is not named Dick or Johnny.)
The story moved quickly and I feel like this was something I definitely would have enjoyed at that age (my guess is ages 7-12, maybe?) Not quite as creepy as Goosebumps, but does get props for being at a real historical place that kids can one day grow up to be obsessed with like the rest of us horror nerds. (Bonus: it appears to be part of a series called Haunted States of America)
We'll give this one a bit of a curve on the grading since it isn't in the same league as most of it's contenders: