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“It was hard to be brave on purpose,” Evan. —The Haunted Howl
The Haunted Howl
Key Hunters #3
by Eric Luper
Cleo and Evan jump into a new book and discover that danger is lurking behind every corner. Evan has been bitten by a werewolf, and they must race to find a cure. If the full moon rises before they have found the cure, Evan will be stuck in the pages of a creepy ghost story forever.
Ghosts, werewolves, and an angry mob of townsfolk must be defeated if Cleo and Evan are to survive. Full of suspense and creepy monsters, The Haunted Howl will give readers a kid-friendly fright. Independent readers will not want to put the book down until they learn if the curse of the full moon can be broken. Black and white illustrations are scattered throughout the book and help bring the story to life. Although the book is a series, readers can understand and enjoy the plot without reading the previous books.
As Cleo and Evan journey to find a cure, they encounter ghosts. One of the ghosts is Cleo’s character’s mother. The idea that ghosts are real people who have been trapped by a curse may upset some readers. In the end, the ghosts are able to “move on.”
- After Evan is bitten by a werewolf, a mob chases him with the intent to kill him. Evan and his friends are able to hide from the townsfolk.
- Ghosts appear and try to prevent the kids from leaving the woods. “The kids were really scared, and soon found themselves back-to-back, surrounded by the frightening spirits. . . Dozens of skeletons hung from the branches.” The ghosts do not want the kids to pass because “if a single living soul makes it out of the cemetery, we will be trapped in these woods forever.” The kids convince the ghosts to let them go.
- A monster disguises itself as a boy and tries to enchant Cleo so she will enter a body of water and drown. When the enchantment doesn’t work, the monster’s “pale face turned the color of seaweed and he bared a mouthful of needle sharp fangs. A slimy claw burst from the water and grabbed Cleo’s wrist.” The struggle lasts for several pages, and the kids are able to escape.
- When Cleo is fighting against a monster, a character “launched another stone at them, this one much larger than the first. Cleo twisted out of the way, and the boulder only grazed her shoulder. . . (The sea creature) let out a terrible shriek as the boulder knocked it off of the Cliffside and into the pool below.”
- Armor comes to life and attacks the kids. One suit of armor “leaped forward, swinging a spiked club wildly. . . Four more suits of armor marched from their places to block them (the kids).” The suits of armor are all destroyed.
- When the kids are looking for an object, a librarian attacks them and shoots books “like arrows.” The librarian “waved her arm, and the ladder slid Cleo and Evan along the rails, slamming them into a wall.” The scuffle lasts several pages, but the librarian decides to help the kids in their quest.
- Evan changes into a werewolf and fights Dr. Thorne, who was also turned into a werewolf. As they fight, “they wrestled to the ground, snarling and barking at each other like vicious dogs. They twisted, thrashed and clawed. Dr. Thorne was much larger, but Evan was quicker. Both were out for blood.” Evan’s friends come to the rescue.
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- The library under the school has a magic portal that takes people into books. When a person travels into a book, they become a character in the book.
- In order to make a potion to change werewolves back into people, one must use a Lycan Spoon. “The Lycan Spoon has special powers. It was crafted from the leg bone of the first werewolf.”
- While the kids search for a plant, ghosts appear. One ghost says, “Every soul ever taken by a werewolf haunts these woods . . . If the head werewolf of the pack is destroyed, our souls will be released.”
- When the ghosts are able to “move on,” a ghost tells someone, “There are worlds beyond this one. We (the ghosts) will each find our own path.”