Gustav Gloom and the People Taker-Adam-Troy Castro and Kristen Margiotta (illustrator)

Gustav Gloom and the People Taker

Adam-Troy Castro and Kristen Margiotta (illustrator)

Grosset & Dunlap, Aug 16 2012, $12.99

ISBN: 9780448458335


The neighbors on Sunnyside Terrace demand the city do something about the eye-sore Gloom House and its five year old resident Gustav Gloom.  The Mayor’s office sends Mr. Notes who asks Gustav if his parents are home; Gustav says he does not know as he does not know where their home is only they are not here on Sunnyside Terrace.  After debating rudeness, seventeen minutes later Mr. Notes flees Gloom House.


Five years later, Gustav watches the What family move into the house next door.  A shape tells him the younger of two daughters, ten year old Fermie What likes spooky tales.  Worried about both girls but especially Fermie, Gustav plans to warn her.  When Fermie watches her cat’s apparent shadow pursue her cat she follows it into Gloom house.  There she finds an enigmatic world in which books exist that have not been written yet and shadows, including her own, dine at a feast.  The People Taker plans to abduct Fermie and her family and take them to the Shadow Country; only she and her new BFF Gustav Gloom can prevent this calamity.


This is a great tweener horror thriller starring two delightful ten year old children and a strong support cast including shadows like that of Mr. Notes and the vile People Taker.  Adam-Troy Castro’s exciting tale is enhanced by Kristen Margiotta’s wonderful illustrations that affirm Gustav Gloom looks like the unhappiest child ever seen.


Harriet Klausner


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