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Dread Wood

Written by Jennifer Killick

Part of the Dread Wood Series

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Dread Wood Review

Books of the Month Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers Funny Horror & Ghost Stories School Stories Thrillers

Deadly secrets lurk beneath school in this unputdownable horror story

April 2022 Book of the Month

Four young people, who know but don’t like one another; a Saturday detention in their creepy old school; and the sudden, terrifying disappearance of their teacher… The stage is set for a fabulously scary horror story in which Jennifer Killick gleefully plays the genre for everything it’s got: shocks, surprises, black humour, and a growing understanding between our bunch of unlikely heroes that if they’re going to get out alive, they’ll need to work together. Killick knows just the right amount of gory detail to include and has a great line in teenage banter too. Readers, especially those new to this kind of story are in for a treat!

Andrea Reece

Other Info

A Q&A with author, Jennifer Killick;

We love the creepy endings to each chapter… how do you come up with cliff-hangers?   I want my stories to be real page-turners, so that my readers don't get bored at any point in the book. I imagine the chapters like episodes of a TV series, each ending with something that will make people gasp, whether it's in the action or a shocking revelation. I think about cliff-hangers I've read or watched that have left me utterly gripped and desperate for more, and I try to recreate moments like those within my stories.

Without giving too much away, Dread Wood features an incredibly scary spider. Did you base it on a real-life creature? Yes! I watched lots of documentaries about different types of spider and combined some of their creepiest qualities for the creature in Dread Wood. The species I used the most was the trapdoor spider - such fascinating creatures, and perfect for what I wanted for this story.

Find the full interview on Jennifer's author page!

Dread Wood Synopsis

It's basically the worst school detention ever. When classmates (but not mate-mates) Hallie, Angelo, Gustav and Naira are forced to come to school on a Saturday, they think things can't get much worse. But they're wrong. Things are about to get seriously scary.

What has dragged their teacher underground? Why do the creepy caretakers keeping humming the tune to Itsy Bitsy Spider? And what horrors lurk in the shadows, getting stronger and meaner every minute?

Cut off from help and in danger each time they touch the ground, the gang's only hope is to work together. But it's no coincidence that they're all there on detention. Someone has been watching and plotting and is out for revenge.

Dread Wood Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading4Kids expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

Living up to it’s name Dread Wood is a scary mystery book that captured me, it was so compelling, that the day I got it I finished it! The characters are really in-depth and when reading I got to know them and I could sympathise for them. Full review

Lara Russin (Age 10)

A Saturday school detention isn’t fun but is it safe? Find out what may be lurking beneath Dreadwood High in this exciting easy to read book for fans of horror. Full review

Lucas Blake (Age 11)

Dread Wood is soooooo good. Even before opening the book we knew it would be because Jennifer Killick wrote it. Full review

Amatullah Khatun (Age 12)

A creepy adventure story that will have you on the edge of your seat! Full review

Emily Welbourn (Age 11)

I found this book to be full of adventure, humour and excitement all the way through. A definite edge of your seat read. Full review

Arthur Dangerfield (Age 9)

Dread Wood Press Reviews

“Jennifer Killick’s talent for horror and humour is blended brilliantly here” – Daily Mail

“Deliciously scary and hilarious comedy-horror, perfectly pitched for eight-plus.” - Guardian

'This is Killick's best book yet; think The Breakfast Club meets Stranger Things, making great use of her talent for comic dialogue and her astute eye for just the right kind of scary for this age group.' - Editor's Choice, The Bookseller

'Spine-tingling, rib-tickling stuff.' - Chris Callaghan, author of The Great Chocoplot

'Dread Wood is absolutely Brilliant! Majorly creepy and hugely funny! Skillfully written, with a gorgeous cast of characters, great heart, and a moving and satisfying ending. I LOVED it!' - Eloise Williams, author of The Tide Singer

'Full of wonderful flawed characters that you empathise with and a good dollop of humour. Jen is an incredible storyteller.' - Ness Harbour, author of Flight

'The Queen of MG horror, Jennifer Killick, is back with a brand new book and it's her signature blend of creepy and funny! Loved this book and the dialogue! So good!' - award-winning author Rashmi Sirdeshpande

'Jennifer Killick's latest masterpiece is chock full of brilliant friendships, banter, laughs & of course a Terrifying plot! Get ready for chills when this book releases in March. It's a Fantastic read!' - Lorraine Gregory, author of Mold and the Poison Plot

'Jen is the absolute master of beginner's horror' - Miss C (teacher)

Praise for Crater Lake;

'This joyous novel - which give a zombie nod to Stranger Things and Shaun of the Dead - has a killer premise in both senses. This is howlingly funny horror for beginners. Jennifer Killick has a fine ear for comic dialogue.' - Alex O'Connell, The Times

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780755503711
Publication date: 31/03/2022
Publisher: Farshore an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780755503711
Publication date: 31st March 2022
Author: Jennifer Killick
Publisher: Farshore an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 336 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Funny, Horror & Ghost Stories, School Stories, Thrillers
Recommendations: Books of the Month, Reviewed by Children

About Jennifer Killick

Jennifer Killick has always wanted to be a writer, but really started when she applied for a Creative Writing MA at Brunel University, which is where she first got the idea for 'The Really Big Stink'. She lives in Uxbridge, in a house full of children, animals and Lego. When she has the time she loves to read, write, and run as fast as she can. Jennifer's favourite things are books, trees and fluffy slippers, and her favourite place in the world is her home, where she can sit in her pyjamas with tea and cake, coming up with story ...

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