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Teens will scream for new audiobook

You’re a pretty smart kid.

If something is broken, you try to fix it or you work around it. You’re good at figuring things out and making up inventions as you need them. Best of all, if you can’t wrap your brain around a problem, you know enough to ask for help.

You’re a smart kid, but you can’t do everything yourself. So, what if it was up to you to save your family or even your entire neighborhood? In the audiobook “Scream Street: Fang of the Vampire” by Tommy Donbavand, performed by MacLeod Andrews, you’ll meet a … um, boy who did.

Luke Watson should’ve known better. But he never saw it coming.

Steven Black was a bully, and he got what he deserved when Luke transformed and chased Steven through the cemetery. Luke didn’t hurt Steven as much as he hurt his pride, but in the days afterward, Luke’s family paid the price.

The faceless Movers came in the middle of the night and packed everything up. They took all of the furniture, video games, the dishes — everything. And they frightened Luke’s parents something awful, but it had to happen: a young werewolf like Luke can’t live in a community of “normal” people if he can’t behave himself.

Luke’s parents hated Scream Street, the new neighborhood where they were relocated. The other residents frightened Mr. & Mrs. Watson, and the poltergeist attacks were just too much. Their landlord, Sir Otto Sneer, was a pretty nasty guy, too. But it didn’t appear that there was any way out of 13 Scream Street, so Luke thought they were stuck.

And then he began to make friends with the other “kids” on his street: Resus Negative, a young vampire; Cleo Farr, a mummy; Eefa Everwell, a beautiful witch; and Doug, a zombie surfer dude. Friends made it easier to live on Scream Street, especially when Luke found a sliver of hope.

Rumor had it that a magic book written by the mysterious Samuel Skipstone contained a secret involving danger, bravery and daring that could help Luke and his family to escape. But since nobody’d ever really seen the book, it was only a legend, right?

No, “Skipstone’s Tales of Scream Street” was real. But the problem was that it sat on a shelf in Sir Otto’s library…

Looking for something to occupy the kids during your vacation this year? You can’t go wrong with this one, because “Scream Street” is a decent little path to take.

Donbavand includes lots of groaners in his story (a zombie named Doug, get it?), a cast of likeable kids-who-aren’t-quite-kids but still do a lot of kid-like things, and a nasty, conniving bad guy you’ll both love to hate. There are thrills in this book but nothing a 7- to 12-year-old can’t handle — although sensitive younger sibs may get a real scare.

If you’re anticipating a chorus of “I’m Bored!” this summer, squash it fast with this audiobook. For your middle schooler, “Scream Street: Fang of the Vampire” is a very smart find.

Terri Schlichenmeyer’s children’s book reviews appear weekly in View.

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