Twelve Minutes To Midnight by Christopher Edge
Posted by Caitie F on March 2, 2014
Summary from pub:
Penelope Tredwell is the feisty thirteen-year-old orphan heiress of Victorian Britain’s bestselling magazine, the Penny Dreadful. Her spine-chilling tales–concealed under the pen name Montgomery Finch–are gripping the public. One day she receives a letter from the governor of the Bedlam madhouse requesting Finch’s help to investigate the asylum’s strange goings-on. Every night at precisely twelve minutes to midnight, the inmates all begin feverishly writing-incoherent ramblings that Penelope quickly realizes are frightening visions of the century to come. But what is causing this phenomenon?
When I was in middle school, I loved creepy horror books written especially for middle schools. Now that I work with middle grade books, I have hoped to find the modern books like those, but there isn’t much. This book fills that gap and it is creepy.
Penelope is an interesting character. She is a writer everyone in London loves, but they don’t know it is her. The bits the reader gets to read is very good and creepy, and is not surprised no one would expect it to come from a 13 year old! She knows how to give the people what they want and hires an actor to play the author to make appearances and more money for the magazine.
But to what you really want to know: is this story creepy? It is SO creepy. In Bedlam (which is a perfect setting for a scary book) the inmates write ramblings that readers will recognize as events from their past, but Penny’s future. It is really clever because it lets the reader figure it out before those in the book do. Readers can’t figure out everything, but this little bit makes it fun.
If that isn’t creepy enough, the actual villain (I won’t spoil who it is) and what they want is even scarier! It leads to a lot of action and suspense.
Overall, this is a really fun horror novel middle grade readers will love!