Parents' Guide to


By Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Witch holds kids captive in creepy but sweet fantasy tale.

Book J.A. White Fantasy 2018
Nightbooks Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 14+

Good, but Not PG at all

The first clue is that the main character is a kid who loves writing scary stories, but has posters of some classically R-Rated horror movies on his wall. There’s lots of creepy stuff than really isn’t gory or inappropriate, but it certainly isn’t for younger kids. Also, no spoilers, but there is a witch in the movie who looks like the old woman in the bathroom from The Shining, but with like candy coming out of her head. It’s scary that’s on par with Sixth Sense or The Ring. Nothing exactly horrifying or bloody, but not something you’d put anywhere near The Lion King, which was also PG. Overall, I watched it with my 12yo and it was the scariest thing she had ever seen -and she had no problem with Stranger Things.
age 11+

nightbooks reveiw

A boy is imprisoned by a witch and must tell her a new scary story each night to stay alive. Alex’s original hair-raising tales are the only thing keeping the witch Natacha happy, but soon he’ll run out of pages to read from and be trapped forever. He’s loved scary stories his whole life, and he knows most don’t have a happily ever after. Now that Alex is trapped in a true terrifying tale, he’s desperate for a different ending—and a way out of this twisted place. The main characters are Yasmin, Natcha, Alex, and Lenore, the cat. Alex, in the story, had to tell a tale to “Natcha” every night, prepare lemonade and every day all day write new stories in a library in a cupurd. Natcha, in the story, just had to listen to Alex’s stories and go to her bedroom and relax, but in the end you figure out the room she went into had the original Witch cottage to see if Aunt Gris was still sleeping using the potion that she made as a kid to punish her for inprisaning her. Yasmin had to tend to the magic nursery in another cupurd, she would also cook, and help Alex so they could escape with their info and plans. Lenore used to work for Natcha, but then help the children as you figured out in Alex’s perspective “she was a prisoner too”. She would fight and start to listen to them, but trusted Alex better first because he had a soft spot for her and saved and helped her first. Alex did run into a few problems, like one of the Danglers that popped into a bug had chewed his two filled to the brim with stories nightbooks and only had two stories left. Yasmin put the wrong ingredient in the plant food and a plant got danglers all over it. That's like a infection that has bag like things grow over its infected places, each with a living vicious organizam in it or that she popped one and it popped all others, then got into the apartment. Lenore battled and got seriously injured and hurt with magic by Natcha. Natcha had the problems of Aunt Gris waking up and being eaten by her. The adventures for the kids and partly Lenore was the whole experience of being trapped in a magical apartment. My favorite character was Lenore because I like cats, she can turn invisible, and in the book she's pretty firey and funny most the time. I could also relate Lenore. In the story she kind of betrays Natcha and goes to helping the two children, Alex and Natcha. Alex also whispers to himself “she's a prisoner too”. I know how it feels too think that someone's a really good friend, but your really just their prisoner. I really liked nightbooks, it was spectacular and as if right now, is probably my favorite book. My good soccermate, friend, and book club participant Lily, was the one who suggested this book to me. My favorite part in the book was when after Yasmin, Lenore, and Alex escaped Aunt Gris for a little bit, Yasmin claimed that Lenore, during putting in the sleeping oil, she “breathed in the magic” and Lenore started making weird gestures with her hands and she actually did have magic burst the door open. I also think she had a hat on. The part that I disliked the most was when the description of Aunt Gris came up and when she ate Natcha, cause I started to feel bad for Natcha at the end a little bit. I would not change a thing in this book, to me, it was perfection! I would totally recommend this book to people who are interested in books similar to A Tale Dark and Grim and Coraline and people who like J.A White or who like books about magic, slightly emotal, and books you can feel like you can relate to and really get into. Nightbooks is a page turner and a book I could not put down!

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (2):

Author J.A. White is in top form in this tale of a horror-loving kid who's captured by a witch in modern-day New York City and forced to tell scary stories. Nightbooks isn't for everyone, especially more sensitive readers, but it's full of rewards, from lots of useful information for budding writers to strong messages of friendship and self-acceptance, as its relatable characters face numerous perils.

Book Details

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