Synopses & Reviews
Everyone is afraid of something...
Madeleine Masterson is deathly afraid of bugs, especially spiders.
Theodore Bartholomew is petrified of dying.
Lulu Punchalower is scared of confined spaces.
Garrison Feldman is terrified of deep water.
With very few options left, the parents of these four twelve year-olds send them to the highly elusive and exclusive School of Fear to help them overcome their phobias. But when their peculiar teacher, Mrs. Wellington, and her unconventional teaching methods turn out to be more frightening than even their fears, the foursome realize that this just may be the scariest summer of their lives.
"Imagine a humorous middle-grade novel by a less self-absorbed Woody Allen to get an idea of this intelligent and witty children's debut. Daneshvari assembles a precocious cast of 12- and 13-year-olds with outsize fears, including Madeleine, whose obsessive fear of insects keeps her drenched in bug repellant; Theo, 'the most dramatic, hysterical, and neurotic boy in the borough of Manhattan'; brazen Lulu, with crippling claustrophobia; and hydrophobic Garrison. Desperate families entrust these kids to Mrs. Wellington, the snarky 'deranged beauty queen' of a headmistress at the secretive and fairly terrifying School of Fear ('Perhaps when the summer is finished you'll write a letter to the board of camps to complain,' Mrs. Wellington tells the children when they learn they are the sole campers. 'And please do not let the board's hypothetical status deter you'). What ensues is tautly paced, spine-tingling and quite funny, as the children overcome their fears and learn to work as a team. The ending proves as clever as the premise and shows that while everyone is afraid of something, tremendous achievements can be won by facing fear head-on. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8 12. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Madeleine Masterson is deathly afraid of bugs. Theodore Bartholomew is petrified of dying. Lulu Punchalower is scared of confined spaces. Garrison Feldman is terrified of deep water. So their parents send them to the highly elusive and exclusive School of Fear to help them overcome their phobias. Illustrations.
For the first time--maybe ever--Madeleine, Theo, Lulu, and Garrison are not
looking forward to the start of summer, and three little words are to blame: School of Fear. In what they're sure will be the longest and most terrifying six weeks of their lives, the foursome must face their phobias head-on as students of the exclusive and elusive school. There's no homework or exams. But if they don't conquer their fears by the end of the summer, they'll find out just how frightening failing can be.
About the Author
Former Contrafilms Director of Development, Gitty Daneshvari is the author of the adult novel The Makedown.
Inspired by being forced to deal with her own set of fears, this is Gitty's debut children's book. She lives in New York.
Carrie Gifford spent many years teaching and directing children's theater before starting Red Cap Cards with her husband. Her signature wonderland-esque pencil-and-ink style is inspired by her childhood memories. She lives in Los Angeles.