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Room 13 by Robert Swindells
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Fliss’s class are off to the seaside village of Whitby. The night before they go, Fliss has a terrible nightmare, where she walks through a spooky house and has to open the door to Room 13. In the morning everything seems normal … at least until they arrive, and Fliss recognises the house from her dream. There’s a lot of things about that house that can’t be explained… like where is Room 13? And what is wrong with poor Ellie May?

Because it’s a school trip, Fliss’s classmates learn a lot about Whitby and its past.. Along with the students, the reader gets informed about how Whitby was significant for whaling, for Captain Cook, and for Bram Stoker- the author of the novel Dracula.

But in between learning, the students get to enjoy sports, swimming, shopping, and other holiday amusements. Fliss spends some time talking to the residents, and finds that the so-called “Mad Sal” has some unusual ideas, besides knowing all about the mysterious house, Ellie-May’s symptoms, and Fliss’s dream.

Room 13 only appears on the stroke of midnight. During the daytime, when Fliss finally persuades a teacher to open that unmarked door, it contains nothing but sheets and towels. But every night, while Fliss and her friends watch, Ellie-May seems to sleep-walk right inside. As Ellie May gets sicker and sicker by day, Fliss forms a theory about what - or who- might really be in there.

Even with some pretty weird goings-on in the middle of the night, the author manages to re-create perfectly the atmosphere of a school trip or camp. Robert Swindells has been a teacher himself, and knows exactly how to write the way teachers talk to kids. This helps the reader to really feel a part of the action. It’s easy to wonder “how would I react?” when you feel like you’ve had a teacher saying just those kind of things to you.

This is a book about school, vampires, disobedience, and making new friends. I would recommend it for 9-14 year old readers who like to feel scared, or who like good to triumph over evil.
  mybookshelf | Jul 15, 2010 |
One of the scariest children's books I've ever read. a group of children go on a school trip to whitby, the home of dracular. whilst there, 4 of them compelled to do strange things; sharpen a bar of rock, buy a torchwithout permission... and all the while a girl in their class is getting sicker, and it's up to them to save her. ( )
  Rubbah | Apr 17, 2009 |
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A spooky tale about a vampire that takes place at the Crow's Nest Hotel, where Fliss and her friends are staying. They think that there's no room 13, but are they sure? Winner of the Children's Book Award in 1990.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440862272, Paperback)

Winner of the Children's Book of the Year Award for 1990, this story tells of the ghostly adventures which befall Fliss on a school trip to Whitby. She arrives for a stay at a hotel which exactly resembles the one which appeared to her in a nightmare the previous night.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:55 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

There is no room thirteen in the creepy Crow's Nest Hotel, where Fliss and her friends are staying on a school trip. Or is there?

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