“Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow” by Katy Towell

I did a post about Katy Towell and her amazing work last week, and I finished her novel, Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow a few days ago.  I loved it just as much as her animations.  If you’re a Lemony Snicket and/or Tim Burton fan, you might like it, too.

The story is about three oddball children who are mercilessly picked on by their peers.  They live in the spooky, otherworldly town of Widowsbury, where many bad things can (and do) happen on a regular basis.  Like a mysterious carousel suddenly appearing in the woods just outside town.  Followed by the arrival of a stranger who sets up a candy stand.  And then, people begin disappearing.  It’s up to the three girls, bound together by their other-ness, to save the town from the dark secrets of the carousel.

Like Towell’s other work, this story is creepy and dark, with plenty of genuinely frightening and gory moments.  Towell’s black and white sketches add a great dimension, but her prose definitely paints a scary enough picture on its own.   There’s also an element of melancholy here which works beautifully–it’s a story about powerlessness and rejection and human darkness, and how we cope (or not) with those dark realities.

Enjoy your last full reading day before Halloween!

–Marie

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