School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari
Logizomechanophobia: the fear of computers. That would be me! Of course, none of the four 12-year-old protagonists in this chuckling read suffer from such fears (young ‘uns these days are all so wired!), but they do each have their own quirky phobias. As every chapter heading repeats: “Everyone’s afraid of something,” followed by some of the funnest -phobia words ever. Leukophobia, illyngophobia, arachibutyrophobia, peladophobia … go ahead, take a few wild guesses.
But back to Gitty Daneshvari‘s gang of four: Madeleine fears bugs like no other (although any mother would be highly worried about all the chemicals she’s exposing herself to, not to mention anyone within spritzing distance); Theodore worries about everyone dying (his native NYC did use to be much more dangerous); Lulu can’t stand being cooped up (and wow does she have an attitude that makes sure no one boxes her in); and Garrison the big star jock is petrified of open water (even though he lives in Miami). They’ve all converged at the super-secret School of Fear atop a big hill in Farmington, Massachusetts where the ex-beauty queen who has definitely seen younger days will use her highly unconventional ways to … well, scare … the living fear out of her latest charges. Let the challenges begin!
Warner Brothers has already bought the rights to the book, by the way … if anyone finds the word for ‘fear of books being made into Hollywood movies,’ be sure to let me know!
Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult