Sunday, October 20, 2013

Book Review: 'Fergus and the Night-Demon' by Jim Murphy

✰✰✰ Fergus O'Mara is a lazy young lad. All he wants is for his nagging mother to leave him alone so he can be off to Skibbereen to have some fun. Fergus is determined that nothing will get in his way, not even the fearful Night-Demon. After all, the apparition could simply be a figment of Fergus' imagination brought on by something he ate. The quick-witted young lad dodges the Night-Demon's every move. However, when Fergus is ordered to dig his own grave, he finally realizes that the Night-Demon is serious. Will Fergus end up the next victim of the Night-Demon or will his quick wits save him yet again? It seems the young Fergus is doomed, but you'll have to read the book to find out.

The Bottom Line: If you are looking for a scary ghost story with an Irish twist, this one is for you. Gouache and colored pencil illustrations by John Manders are dark and frightening adding to the evil character of the Night-Demon created by Jim Murphy. Fergus and the Night-Demon is somewhat reminiscent of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens as Fergus undergoes a transformation in character due to the haunting. Recommended for kids in grades 5 & 6, but don't read this to the little ones (it's too scary).

Details: Fergus and the Night-Demon: An Irish Ghost Story written by Jim Murphy and illustrated by John Manders. Hardcover picture book published by Clarion Books in 2006. 32 p. ISBN: 978-0-618-33955-6

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