Ready for a Scare? (You're Invited to a Creepover) by P.J. Night. Minneapolis, MN; Simon Spotlight, 2011. 160 pages.
Volume 3 in the You're Invited to a Creepover series.
Middle school student and self-proclaimed Queen of Scares, Kelly Garcia was supposed to have an awesome sleepover with her friends Paige and June to celebrate her birthday. Unfortunately, when she got home and found her brother home alone she learned that her parents are stuck out of town due to a snowstorm and she and her ten year old brother are stuck with a babysitter. Then, things only got worse when her mom informed her that there would be no sleepover and that it would have to be postponed. Kelly instantly got on her IM and contacted her friends to vent her frustrations, which is when she came up with the idea to have a webcam sleepover.
Things seem to be going great, even her friend Spencer and his new friend Gavin joined in the online party. Things started off with a scary tale told by Gavin and then they decided to summon the dead, which led to Kelly remembering the name of a local girl who died in the snow; it seemed like fate drew them together because Kelly's mother was researching Mary Owens for an article in her column. The group chants her name thirteen times while spinning around in a circle... that's when things start to get really scary. Did they really manage to summon Mary's spirit? Just what is going on?! What is happening to her friends - why do they keep disappearing?
P.J. Night's descriptive writing style does a good job of setting the scene and drawing the reader into the story. Those who are brave enough to give this book a try will definitely be in for a scary experience.
This book is probably best suited for readers who aren't scared of the dark - grades 3 through 7 as there are a few mildly "scary" moments in the book not suitable for younger readers. The book also introduces the idea of a virtual sleepover and has the kids using webcams, which may not be a topic that some parents want to introduce their children to until a conversation about Internet safety occurs...