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June 29, 2022

The Clackity by Lora Senf ~ a Review

by MK French

Blight Harbor is the seventh-most haunted town in America, and Evie Von Rathe lives there with her Aunt Desdemona, the local paranormal expert. Des' only rule is to stay out of the abandoned slaughterhouse, but Evie searches there when Des goes missing. The Clackity is a creature who lives in the shadows of the slaughterhouse and will return Des in exchange for the ghost of John Jeffrey Pope, a serial killer who stalked Blight Harbor a hundred years earlier. Evie must go through an otherworld filled with witches, ghosts, and a memory-thief, pursued by a dead man whose only goal is to add Evie to his collection of lost souls.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of children's horror novel The Clackity by Lora Senf
June 2022; Atheneum Books; 978-1665902670
audio, ebook, print (288 pages); children's horror

I highly like how Des responds to Evie's grief regarding her missing parents, and the anxiety that loss leaves behind. She likens it to keeping wet laundry in a washer for too long, making her insides moldy; realizing that for what it is and airing that out helps Evie (and the reader!) normalize talking and feeling the tougher emotions and getting through them with others. And all that in chapter one! That brings home the desperation Evie feels once Des is gone, and why she's willing to risk so much. The other world that she moves through works on the logic of dreams and fairy tales, forcing her to face fears and solve the puzzle of each house she moves through. 

Twelve-year-old Evie is a braver girl than she thinks she is, and surviving each challenge brings her closer to her goal. The illustrations in the book give you a sense of some characters and have a charm to them that adds to this spooky, haunted story. I hope that younger kids also feel brave after reading this book, and learn that understanding the fear helps to overcome it.

Buy The Clackity at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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