THE PEEPHOLE (FrightVision #9)

Thank you to author Culliver Crantz for providing me FrightVision #9, THE PEEPHOLE.

It’s getting harder to post my FrightVision reviews since my nine-year-old daughter discovered them. This Goosebumps read-alike is the subject of her November book report.

Matty and Tom are best friends, who had big plans to be astronauts together – until a selfish driver kills Tom.

Understandably out of his mind with grief (in a way that will deeply resonate with bereaved children), Matty runs away to their hideout in the woods… where a mysterious peephole may lead him to a path to reunite with his friend.

But does he want to?

Loved

  • THE PEEPHOLE addresses every bereaved child’s fantasy: That there is somehow a way to be with your lost loved one again, or to bring them back. While maintaining the spooky, fast-paced vibe, Crantz debunks that narrative with a gentle firmness that kids need.
  • Tom’s afterlife has no religious tie-ins, making this book more inclusive and (rare spoiler) leaving Matty with a path to find peace after his loss.
  • Ends on a creepy note of dread – I’m really hoping this one has a sequel.

Caveat

  • TW: Main character Matty loses his best friend to a careless driver; the story opens right after his funeral.
    • While I don’t do spoilers… let’s just say the driver is put into morally gray territory. If Matty’s death hits too close to home for a reader, this plot twist may sit uncomfortably.

Verdict

This book tugged my heartstrings as an “adult bereaved child” (with his anniversary in a few days) and it is the strongest of the FrightVision series. However, it is the heaviest emotionally. It’s a powerful and necessary meditation on loss and morality that would be good education for a middle-grade reader – just be prepared for your children to ask you questions after reading.

Bonus

This volume ends with the truly creepy short story Just the Two of Us, by twelve-year-old Jasmine Robinson of Mount Dora, FL. It’s obvious why this talented young lady won the FrightVision Writing Contest for Kids.

In a day and age where books struggle to compete with mind-numbing video games, authors who work to engage their young readers’ creativity are to be commended.

Check out FrightVision for yourself! Use discount code KCFV10 for 10% off your purchase on the FrightVision website or Etsy store.

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