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“That guy is creeping me out. There’s something weird about him. He doesn’t talk. What if he kidnaps us? What if he’s really a ghoul and he takes us to his cave and—” Josh said. –Sleepy Hollow Sleepover
Sleepy Hollow Sleepover
A to Z Mysteries Super Edition #4
by Ron Roy
Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose are spending Halloween in Sleepy Hollow, New York, home of the legendary Headless Horseman. They are going to sleep in a cabin, take a haunted hayride, and go to a spooky party near an old graveyard. That’s where some people say they’ve spotted the ghostly horseman. But strange things start happening that don’t seem to be part of the planned Halloween fun. Is there a real Headless Horseman haunting Sleepy Hollow?
Readers looking for a Halloween scare will want to read Sleepy Hollow Sleepover. A little history, a scary setting, and a mystery to solve make Sleepy Hollow Sleepover a fun Halloween read. The three friends use their power of observation to solve the mystery. While investigating, Dink, Josh, and Ruth put themselves in danger by crawling into the back of a truck and getting kidnapped. However, their quick thinking allows the police to find them before the bad guys can get away.
Sleepy Hollow Sleepover‘s short chapters and black and white illustrations make the story accessible to many readers. Large illustrations appear every 2 to 4 pages. Many of the illustrations are one page and help readers understand the plot. Plus, readers can hunt through the pictures to find a hidden message.
The story’s suspense doesn’t just come from the mystery. Bats, a zombie, and other Halloween fun add to the spooky scene. The conclusion explains how the kids solved the mystery and also leaves readers wondering if the kids really did see a Headless Horsemen. Another positive aspect is that the story portrays police officers in a positive manner. However, when the wagons burn, four police officers pack 25 kids into the backseats and some kids are sitting on other’s laps.
Sleepy Hollow Sleepover will get readers’ hearts pumping as they follow the kids on the haunted hayride. Mystery-loving readers will enjoy following the clues as the kids try to find the culprits. Readers who are ready for chapter books will enjoy both the story and the illustrations. Grab a flashlight, turn out the lights, and enjoy Sleepy Hollow Sleepover. Readers who want more fall fun should also read Marley and the Runaway Pumpkin by John Grogan.
- Someone intentionally sets the wagons on fire. That person also makes all of the car’s tires flat.
Drugs and Alcohol
- Heck is used twice. For example, while on a haunted hayride a boy says, “All this stuff is planned, just to scare the heck out of us.”
- Jerk is used twice. The kids are talking to a police officer about the person who set the wagons on fire. The police officer says, “whoever it was is a real jerk.”
- The bad guys call the kids “rats.”
- The kids think they see the Headless Horseman riding by their cabin. The story leaves the reader wondering if the Headless Horseman is real.
- During the haunted hayride, the wagon drives by a graveyard. “A hand was rising out of the grave! Then came an arm, covered in filthy rags. A second hand and arm appeared, then a face blotched with dirt. Some of the flesh was peeling off.” The kids know the zombie isn’t real but is part of the hayride.