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The Bellwoods Game

Illustrated by Celia Krampien

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About The Book

Perfect for fans of Doll Bones and Hocus Pocus, this “beautifully creepy” (Kirkus Reviews), highly illustrated middle grade novel follows a girl who hopes to fix her outcast status through a game in the haunted woods, only to discover that some legends shouldn’t be played with.

Everyone knows Fall Hollow is haunted. It has been ever since Abigail Snook went into the woods many years ago, never to be seen again. Since then, it’s tradition for the sixth graders at Beckett Elementary to play the Bellwoods Game on Halloween night. Three kids are chosen to go into the woods. Whoever rings the bell there wins the game and saves the town for another year, but if Abigail’s ghost captures the players first, the spirit is let loose to wreak havoc on Fall Hollow—or so the story goes.

Now that it’s Bailee’s year to play, she can finally find out what really happens. And legend has it the game’s winner gets a wish. Maybe, just maybe, if Bailee wins, she can go back to the way things used to be before her grandma got sick and everyone at school started hating her. But when the night begins, everything the kids thought they knew about the game—and each other—is challenged. One thing’s for sure: something sinister is at play…waiting for them all in the woods.

Excerpt

Chapter 1: Halloween, Some Time Later

About The Author

Photograph by Jamie Nadalin

Celia Krampien grew up in a house in the woods in a small town near Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada. She studied illustration at Sheridan College and currently lives in St. Catharines, Ontario, with her partner, a mischievous cat, and a nosy beagle. She is the author of The Bellwoods Game.

About The Illustrator

Photograph by Jamie Nadalin

Celia Krampien grew up in a house in the woods in a small town near Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada. She studied illustration at Sheridan College and currently lives in St. Catharines, Ontario, with her partner, a mischievous cat, and a nosy beagle. She is the author of The Bellwoods Game.

Why We Love It

“This feels like a classic, spooky middle grade horror story that has something for everyone. The supernatural elements help to tell a story that is grounded in the real fears and anxieties that kids have of growing up, losing family members, and things changing between your friends and loved ones. There are so many layers to this story, not to mention the wonderfully autumnal atmosphere.”

—Kristie C., Editorial Assistant, on The Bellwoods Game

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (July 18, 2023)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781665912501
  • Grades: 3 - 7
  • Ages: 8 - 12

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Raves and Reviews

*An Indigo Kids September Staff Pick*

*A July/August 2023 Indie Next Pick*

*A Junior Library Guild Selection*

"Krampien intersperses atmospherically eerie b&w art throughout a tense friendship novel steeped in local lore."

Publishers Weekly

"This gorgeously illustrated, atmospheric, and evocative debut captures the fun of being scared and the hard truths of middle school. . . Beautifully creepy."

Kirkus Reviews

"Krampien’s eerie story cleverly focuses on themes such as bullying . . . This supernatural tale will chill readers while reminding them that real friendship can brave any situation."

Booklist

Awards and Honors

  • Cybils Award Finalist

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High Resolution Images

More books from this author: Celia Krampien