School of Fear

Today’s review is brought to you by Guestblogger N who was really really excited about this book and thinks everyone 8 and older should read it, though she acknowledges that teenagers might be too cool for it.


School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari

Illustrated by Carrie Gifford

Little, Brown and Company, 2009

(hardback) 339 pages.

Dear Applicant,

I am pleased to inform you of your acceptance to the summer course at School of Fear. As you already know, School of Fear is an exceedingly select institution, run by the elusive Mrs. Wellington, aimed at eradicating children’s fears through unorthodox methods. The small group of parents, doctors, alumni, and teachers aware of our existence vigilantly maintain our anonymity. It is at the discretion of this small group that students are referred. We strongly advise all incoming applicants and their families only to discuss School of Fear in the confines of their home with the television on, water running, and dog barking.

–back cover

School of Fear is a wonderful book with a thrilling twist. The main characters, Madeline Masterson, Theodore Bartholomew, Lulu Punchalower, and Garrison Feldman all have one connection, their phobias . Madeline, a veiled girl who is terrified of bugs always carries bug spray wherever she goes. Theodore, a pudgy boy, calls his family to make sure they’re alive and are not doing anything risky at the moment (his fear is death) .  Lulu will do anything to avoid small or confined spaces, even a bathroom stall without a window nearby. Garrison, the coolest kid in Miami starts to fidget at the mention of going to the beach or even the pool. The kids’ parents are going loco fumigating the house, are barraged with constant phone calls, or are just suffering humiliation period. Hope is found  when they find the highly secretive School of Fear; but the children are worried. Is there bugs? Will they allow phones? Are there stairs? Will we have to swim?

Mrs. Wellington calls herself a beauty queen and is more than just a little odd in her unorthodox methods; in fact her students feel that for a six week learning period, learning about gracefulness doesn’t help their phobias at all!

If you enjoyed The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton L. Stewart, you will likely enjoy this one.

A fun aside: Each chapter begins with “Everyone’s afraid of something” and a name of a phobia: Chapter 4, Agyrophobia is the fear of crossing the street (48); Chapter 9, Cacophobia is the fear of ugliness; Chapter 6, Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is the fear of long words; Chapter 11, Peladophobia is the fear of bald people; Chapter 28, Phobophobia is the fear of phobias.

This book is a great adventure and is great for ages 8 and up.




Guestblogger N (aka the daughter) is an avid reader and lexical fancier.  When she is thrilled about a book, she has to share it.

When she is in good humor with computers, she is more willing to blog for me. Thank you school for the new notebooks this week, and for the typing lessons.

N was conscious not to include spoilers, but if you have questions about the read or comments, they will be passed along!

Published by L

I read, and I write. and until recently, I sold books.

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