The Haunted Serpent Review

Synopsis from Sterling Publishing:

Welcome to Thedgeroot, where Spaulding Meriwether is on a quest to make friends, become cool . . . and figure out why dead people are running around.

“You know how people always tell you ‘just be yourself?’ That’s terrible advice. You won’t survive middle school that way. Trust me.”

Spaulding Meriwether, Thedgeroot Middle School’s new resident weirdo and son of questionable television ghost hunters, just wants to fit in. But after a revenant chases him through the woods, Spaulding suspects there’s something afoot in Thedgeroot. (At least he thinks it’s a foot. Maybe it was a hand. It’s hard to tell when you’re running away.) Then he notices the chimneys of the abandoned factory at the edge of town puffing smoke—and his dead next-door neighbor materializes, along with David, the missing pet boa constrictor that supposedly ate him. Spaulding can’t help wondering if these strange happenings have anything to do with his undead friends in the forest. Of course, Spaulding just has to investigate—but he may be biting off more than he can chew . . . .

About: The Haunted Serpent is a middle grade paranormal fiction written and illustrated by Dora M. Mitchell. It was published on 6/5/2018 by Sterling Children’s Books, an imprint of Sterling Publishing, hardcover, 240 pages. The genres are middle grade, humor, and fiction. This book is intended for readers ages 8 to 12. According to the publisher’s website, “Sterling Children’s Books publishes both fiction and nonfiction. Our list includes picture books, joke books, classics, novelty formats, and board books, as well as middle-grade and young adult fiction.” Please see below for more information about the authors and publisher.

My Experience: I started reading The Haunted Serpent on 10/1/2018 and finished it on 10/7/2018. This book is an interesting read! It’s my first necromancy read. I like the main character, Spaulding, especially the notebook he keeps with him. I like Spaulding’s relationships with his great aunt Gwen, though I do feel bad for his many lonely dinners. I like Lucy and how hilarious she is for naming her instrument and assigning a gender to it. Reading this story is just perfect for Halloween.

This book is told in the third person point of view following Spaulding Meriwether, as he barely made his escape from the half dead man in the woods. He went to investigate when he heard his classmates talked about strange stuffs happening in the woods. Spaulding has a research notebook where he kept things he saw in drawings. Spaulding has been home schooled all of elementary school. Now that he’s starting 6th grade at a public school, he’s excited to make lots of friends and get to know Thedgeroot, the old town his great aunt and him just moved into, especially the abandoned house next door where he was told that the owner died from eaten by his pet snake. He was advised to blend in if he wanted to make friends but he only knew how to be himself so he doesn’t get it.

The Haunted Serpent is very well written. I love the humor. This book has many actions and adventures and they sure give me an adrenaline rush. Spaulding’s school experiences can be relatable to many readers, especially his attempts at making friends. The illustrations are awesome and my favorite is sitting on pretend chairs. I like that there are definitions to big words within the story. This book introduce readers of a family moving on from divorced parents and parents who’s job take them away from the conventional family life. The Haunted Serpent is truly a story for everyone. I highly recommend everyone to read this book!

Pro: fast paced, page turner, humor, illustrations, making friends, actions and adventures, paranormal

Con: none

I rate it 5 stars!

Buy it here for free shipping: Book Depository  or Sterling Publishing’s website

About the Author:

Dora M. Mitchell is a writer, illustrator, and children’s librarian living in a small Northern California town that dates back to the Gold Rush. She writes surrounded by dark woods where the evidence of mining days can still be found hidden away among the trees—the inspiration for the setting of The Haunted Serpent. Her latest illustration work can be seen in The Boatman by Kat Hawthorne (BookFish Books, 2015). Visit her online at (Photo obtained from the author’s website and info obtained from Sterling Publishing’s website).

More Information about Sterling Publishing

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***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Sterling Publishing for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.


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