Monday, October 7, 2019

Reviews from the Children's Section - Nightmares!

One of my favorite genres and one that is the easiest for me to push aside is middle grade fiction. This year to make sure I get a little more children's and young adult fiction I thought I would designate the first Monday of every month Middle Grade Monday (though sometimes it doesn't end up working quite right) .  While a lot of my picks this year are classics I am trying to branch out a little bit and read new or at least recent releases. This month I'm talking about Nightmares! by Jason Segal and Kirsten Miller.

Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller

Blurb: Sleeping has never been so scary. And now waking up is even worse!
Charlie Laird has several problems:
1. His dad married a woman he is sure moonlights as a witch.
2. He had to move into her purple mansion, which is not a place you want to find yourself after dark.
3. He can’t remember the last time sleeping wasn’t a nightmarish prospect. Like even a nap.

What Charlie doesn’t know is that his problems are about to get a whole lot more real. Nightmares can ruin a good night’s sleep, but when they start slipping out of your dreams and into the waking world—that’s a line that should never be crossed. And when your worst nightmares start to come true . . . well, that’s something only Charlie can face. And he’s going to need all the help he can get, or it might just be lights-out for Charlie Laird. For good.

My Thoughts:  This was NOT what I was expecting at all!  With Jason Segal's name on the cover I was expecting light and quirky and lots of fun.  And it was definitely quirky but not so much on the light and iffy on the fun.  12 year old Charlie has been through a lot.  His mother died, his dad remarried, and they've moved into the creepiest house in town all within a year.  Throw in regular and terrifying nightmares and he isn't having a stellar year.  He's not happy - in fact he's seriously angry.  His three best friends and his little brother try to help him but Charlie is really struggling with even being pleasant much less accepting their help. 

This tackles a lot of really important issues including loss, difficult adjustments, depressions, and anger but without reading like an after school special.  I liked that Charlie read like a real 12 year old - or pretty close.  He's got a bit of an attitude and his feelings are very rarely logical but he isn't vilified or made a hero.  He's just a kid - and a kid who I think a lot of other kids would identify with. 

I think this would be great for children 8 through 12 or so.  The book is a bit dark and there is some scary imagery that might bother younger children but it's not so dark that I think it would bother my sensitive 9 year old.  Most of it has a fairy tale witch feel.  She's definitely a nightmare but I didn't feel like we were up to Gaiman's Coraline level scary.  Jason Segal reads the audio and is beyond fabulous.  This would be a good listen for a road trip. 


  1. I read this was a good series. Interesting how the content is stronger for that age group than the norm.

  2. This one sounds intriguing - I'm glad it isn't up to Coraline's fright level - that book completely freaked out my granddaughter when she was younger.

  3. Wow this sure sounds like a really good read, I like ones like this that really explore some important issues. Meaty!

  4. This sounds really well done. I am enjoying more middle grade books lately and I wouldn't hesitate to pick this one up.

  5. To thumbs up for Charlie reading like a 12 year old. One of my pet peeves is child characters who have the thought processes of an adult. Thanks for sharing your review! 👍✨