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Freaks and Shrieks by R. L. Stine
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Freaks and Shrieks

by R. L. Stine

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It was fun to read an R.L. Stine book again. It has been many years since I first read Monster Blood but Stine's style has stayed the same. Anything can happen, like chimps and boys switching brains, and I liked the "to be continuted" at the end of the story as this is part of a series. There were not a lot of multicultural characters in this book but I think it could have.

This book and its series could be used as part of a halloween program at a library, with ghosts and mad scientists. ( )
  lnpowers | Aug 6, 2010 |
Freaks and Shrieks is the 7th (and second to the last) book in the Mostly Ghostly series. Throughout the Series we follow Max (live boy), Tara (ghost girl) and Nicky (ghost boy)...Max is not your typical young man...he's got a brutish bully of a brother, a father who'd rather he was a jock and not so into learning and magic tricks, and oh yea...two ghosts living in his house. Nicky and Tara are supposed to be his friends, but who are constantly getting him into one big mess after another and this time out, things are no different. Thankfully, Colin (the brother) has one brief appearance in this story as I was getting quite tired of the overkill emphasis on the brotherly violence.

In Freaks and Shrieks Nicky and Tara are being stalked (yet again) by a strange man in black) and we join Max as he's preparing for an audition for his favorite magician, Ballantine (to hopefully become one of three students he's taking on). Nicky and Tara typically want to help make his audition better and you know what that means...naturally, they make it worse. Max also lucks out with an invitation from Tracy Wayne (the most popular and beautiful girl at school) to a party...but even that is in jeopardy as Nicky and Tara beg him to allow Dr. Smollet to transfer his brain to a chimp (the only living thing to have witnessed what Phears did to Nicky & Tara and their parents and perhaps the only way to find out how they really become ghosts). Will Max trade brains with a chimp? Will he impress Tracy at the party? And most importantly will he get to be one of Ballentines magical students? Things never go as planned when things are Mostly Ghostly...read and find out!

Overall, it's another three star book for the Mostly Ghostly series...the story had some interesting twists and Nicky and Tara come through for Max in the end...but I find myself mostly annoyed by the entire series and the way Stine chose to use broad caricatures in this book instead of developing them more fully and to really play up how difficult Max's life is and how horrible people are to him without any real reason...and with friends who are never there for him (ghost or otherwise). In the end, Freaks and Shrieks is really more of a morose comedy with horror elements than it is a straight up horror story. It should be interesting to see how Stine wraps this series up, since there is only one book left and this one really gave no indication of a series wrapping up the lose ends and starting to come to a place of resolution. ( )
  the_hag | Dec 29, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385746946, Hardcover)

Max made a deal with Nicky and Tara, the two ghosts who live in his bedroom: If he helps them figure out how they turned into ghosts, they’ll help Max prove to his dad that he isn’t a worthless wimp.
Well, Max is about to make good on his promise. There’s a witness who saw what happened to the kids. A witness who may know the secret to bringing them back to life. The problem is the witness is a chimpanzee! And Max is going to switch brains with him to learn the secret. Will Max find the secret– or will he go from a worthless wimp to a worthless chimp?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:12 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When Max makes a deal with the two ghosts inhabiting his bedroom in order to find out how these friends became spirits, he must switch brains with the only witness to the event, a chimpanzee.

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