Button Hill by Michael Bradford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Paperback, 253 pages
Published April 2015 by Orca Books
I enjoyed this horror/fantasy for middle graders. An exciting tale that has a brother and sister involved in the Underworld and afterlife risking their very own life force and in one case beating heart. I was quite pleasantly surprised at the amount of horror in a book for this age group. It gets pretty scary (and a little gruesome) at times but always remains age appropriate. The characters are realistic and likeable with the brother and sister behaving like real siblings having an antagonizing relationship yet one based on love at the heart. The secondary characters are a motley crew and I especially enjoyed Aunt Primrose, the keeper of Dayside. The author's mythos of his imaginary world does have quite a few holes that keep it from holding together under scrutiny; I kept finding myself asking questions as to how this would apply to the supposed entire afterworld it occasionally refers to, but it is an intriguing story nevertheless. The ending is conclusive and yet it is has left an opening for a sequel. I found it a fast read that kept me turning the pages and would certainly recommend for those looking for something scary but appropriate for this age group. A fun read.