Review sponsored* by Carole P. Roman
The Children’s Book Review | September 20, 2017
Written by Carole P. Roman
Illustrated by Mateya Arkova
Age Range: 6-10
Paperback: 62 pages
Publisher: Chelshire (2017)
What to expect: Overcoming Fears, Laughs, Sleepovers, and Friendship
Welcome to the second installment of award-winning author Carole P. Roman’s Oh Susannah chapter book series: Oh Susannah: Things That Go Bump. This episodic novel reacquaints fans with Susannah and also establishes a connection for readers that are new to the series. It can be read as a stand-alone book or as a follow-up to Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag.
Susannah often keeps things to herself, but she’s working on it. She doesn’t want to admit to her best friend Lola that she’s afraid to go to her house for a sleepover because she thinks the house is haunted. Plus, Susannah’s parents have somewhere to be the same night and seem really keen for her to sleepover at Lola’s; and, if she doesn’t go, maybe Lola will invite their other friend Gemma instead. Kai, Lola’s brother, is a real prankster and seems to get a kick out of scaring Susannah, which definitely does not help the situation.
Prior to the sleepover, Susannah attends an annual charity event with her mom for kids with disabilities. It is here that she has an important and mutual experience with her blind friend Macy that could end up playing a large part in helping her conquer her fears. The story builds to include exploring the creepy house with flashlights, an entertaining scene involving dolls, and a possible payback on Kai.
Roman’s story is a delightful example of how people (children and adults) can have many different fears, and while not all of them make sense, they can be conquered (or at least understood)—especially when some perspective is applied. Her writing is well paced; the vocabulary is ideal for kids with beginning chapter book capabilities (with some vocabulary expansion possibilities); and the story itself is both engaging and suspenseful (a good page-turning combo)—and a little spooky, too:
“Susannah paused, her heart beating wildly in her chest. Her eyes scanned the dark windows dotting the front of the house and the gnarled vines that snaked up the old white shingles.”
Credit should also be given for Roman’s selection of characters that include children from diverse ethnic backgrounds and kids with disabilities—not merely because they exist in the story and there are few chapter books for this age range and reading ability that offer such diversity, but simply because they fit naturally into the storyline, as they should. We do hope to see Macy play a larger role in an upcoming book. Please, Mrs. Roman?
If a book that showcases how the unexpected can turn out to be exciting and fun—and also has a plot-twist ending—sounds like the next best thing to read, then we highly recommend Oh Susannah: Things That Go Bump!
About the Author
Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of the Captain No Beard series. Both Captain No Beard: An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life and Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis have received the Kirkus Star of Exceptional Merit. The first book in the series was named to Kirkus Reviews Best 2012. Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis has been named to Kirkus Reviews Best of 2015. Each book in the series has won numerous awards including the NABE Pinnacle Award, IAN Award, Moonbeam Award 2014, National Indie Excellence Award Finalist, Shelf Media Outstanding Series Award, ForeWord Review Five Star and Finalist in the Book of the Year, and Reader’s Views Children’s Book of the Year 2013. Roman is also the author of the award-winning non-fiction culture series, If You Were Me and Lived in… that explores customs and cultures around the world. She has co-authored a self help book, Navigating Indieworld: A Beginners Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing. She lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children and grandchildren.
Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. Carole P. Roman sponsored* this non-biased review of “Oh Susannah: Things That Go Bump.” Learn more about getting a book review …