Hey all! Today I’m talking about a book I’d wanted to read for years. It’s called The Rook by Daniel O’Malley, and it was on a list of bestsellers/must-read books for the year of 2012, which was a hell of a lot of time ago. It had been on my Amazon list for years, and I just received it as a Christmas present.
A couple years ago, I was lucky enough to attend a panel at The BookCon featuring Jason Segel. The panel was to promote his new children’s book Nightmares!, and during that panel, he blew me away with his childlike attitude, his belief in the magic of stories, and his own anecdotes about his childhood filled with nightmares. I knew I had to read his book.
Fast forward to now, way after I bought the children’s book. I spent too much time putting it off, because Nightmares! is exactly the kind of book I’d have read as a child, the kind of book that teaches children to love reading.
Nightmares! is about a 12-year-old boy named Charlie Laird, who is plagued with vivid, nightly dreams about a witch eating him. The nightmares are so real and scary that he’s gone weeks without sleeping, and has become surly and mean to his brother and father, and especially to his stepmother—whom he thinks is the witch herself. Charlie’s mother passed away a few years ago, and Charlie is angry with his father for marrying again so quickly, and he’s afraid of losing his remaining family to a new mother. His fears slowly eat him alive, until finally, Charlie’s nightmares carry him into the world of nightmares itself, called the Netherworld.
In the Netherworld, Charlie has to face his fears, find out the true nature of fear, and find the courage to save what he most values: his family.
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