Thursday, October 10, 2013

School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari

Theo, Madeleine, Garrison, and Lulu
School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari is the story of four young people who enroll in a school over the summer to help them conquer their fears. The portrayals of the students and their phobias were the best part of the story. I especially liked Madeleine with her fear of insects and spiders. I am not a big fan of spiders either and can appreciate her fear of the little lurking eight-legged creatures. She wears a netted beekeeper's hat and carries cans of insect spray with her wherever she goes. She reads a lot and is very smart and constantly amazes her fellow phobics with her knowledge on many subjects.

The other students include Lulu and her fear of enclosed spaces, Garrison and his fear of large bodies of water, and Theo who worries constantly about death - both his and the members of his family. He is constantly reporting statistics on the many different ways people have met their end. He and Madeleine are the best drawn of the four students.

On the other hand, Mrs. Wellington, the owner of the school, her assistant Schmidty, and the sleazy attorney Mr. Munchauser, are just weird. It seems as if the author just loaded them up with quirks.

Anyway, it is a pleasant read - if somewhat drawn out - and the illustrations by Carrie Gifford are adorable. I can see how it would appeal to middle-school students.

Here's a bonus: Each chapter begins with the definition of a different phobia including this one that I had never heard of or imagined.

Arachibutyrophobia - the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth.

No comments:

Post a Comment