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Just Beyond: The Scare School

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Middle grade supernatural horror series takes young readers Just Beyond the reality they know…Just Beyond their normal lives…Just Beyond the real world to an always surprising place of fantasy and fright. Surviving middle school is hard enough but when Jess, Josh, and Marco encounter a strange and deadly creature wandering the halls of The Scare School, it leads Middle grade supernatural horror series takes young readers Just Beyond the reality they know…Just Beyond their normal lives…Just Beyond the real world to an always surprising place of fantasy and fright. Surviving middle school is hard enough but when Jess, Josh, and Marco encounter a strange and deadly creature wandering the halls of The Scare School, it leads them to a sinister secret in the boiler room... As they leave their school behind, these three unsuspecting students enter a horrifying reality just beyond the one they know, one filled with supernatural terror and fright. Will they survive the harrowing journey and save the other children they find trapped there, or will they forever be trapped on the wrong side of The Scare School? R.L. Stine, the worldwide bestselling author of Goosebumps, and visionary illustrators Kelly & Nichole Matthews (Pandora’s Legacy), take you to the other side where the only constant is fear.


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Middle grade supernatural horror series takes young readers Just Beyond the reality they know…Just Beyond their normal lives…Just Beyond the real world to an always surprising place of fantasy and fright. Surviving middle school is hard enough but when Jess, Josh, and Marco encounter a strange and deadly creature wandering the halls of The Scare School, it leads Middle grade supernatural horror series takes young readers Just Beyond the reality they know…Just Beyond their normal lives…Just Beyond the real world to an always surprising place of fantasy and fright. Surviving middle school is hard enough but when Jess, Josh, and Marco encounter a strange and deadly creature wandering the halls of The Scare School, it leads them to a sinister secret in the boiler room... As they leave their school behind, these three unsuspecting students enter a horrifying reality just beyond the one they know, one filled with supernatural terror and fright. Will they survive the harrowing journey and save the other children they find trapped there, or will they forever be trapped on the wrong side of The Scare School? R.L. Stine, the worldwide bestselling author of Goosebumps, and visionary illustrators Kelly & Nichole Matthews (Pandora’s Legacy), take you to the other side where the only constant is fear.

30 review for Just Beyond: The Scare School

  1. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Moore

    Ultimately this was a pretty confusing read, and that’s not good when it comes to middle-grade reading, as the basic storyline should be easy to follow. The story even started as though a chapter was missing. Given that the famed author is adept at stringing a yarn or two together, I kept thinking it was going to become crystal clear. I enjoyed the illustrations and some of the concepts involved but if the Scare School is going work in graphic novel form, the storylines have got to be WAY cleare Ultimately this was a pretty confusing read, and that’s not good when it comes to middle-grade reading, as the basic storyline should be easy to follow. The story even started as though a chapter was missing. Given that the famed author is adept at stringing a yarn or two together, I kept thinking it was going to become crystal clear. I enjoyed the illustrations and some of the concepts involved but if the Scare School is going work in graphic novel form, the storylines have got to be WAY clearer than this.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    I received an ARC at BEA 2019. Recommended for ages 8+, this graphic novel from R.L. Stine hits that age level perfectly. Kids are fighting robots and solving mysteries in their school. Not much character development, but young reader's will easily follow the story and want to see the kids succeed and try to save the day from a devious headmaster.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Classic R.L. Stine scary-goodness and a twist ending apired with art from my favorite artist team Kelly and Nichole Matthews aka Kicking Shoes, perfection! Big fan! Can't wait for the next volume! Must read!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    What kind of nonsense was that... who narrates a graphic novel in 1st person while speech bubbles are going on... We start with a group of characters. First person narration. We start with another group of characters. First person narration. I disliked the whole book. It was boring. It was not scary. I was not impressed. I'm not sure how kids will react, but it was not a natural flow and I had to flip back to the beginning a few times and reread. Not a good sign.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    R. L. Stine does not understand the structure, nuances or indeed the point of the graphic novel form. I read this for our podcast Teenage Scream, which dissects the best (and worst) of 90s Teen Horror. https://soundcloud.com/teenagescream

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rhoda

    Solid three stars, about what I expected. R. L. Stine was a very important and influential writer for me as a kid, and I had the opportunity to meet him and hear him speak at the ALA conference this year, which is where I received the ARC for this graphic novel. It's creative, nostalgic, and fast-paced, with terrific artwork from Kelly and Nichole Matthews, but as usual with middle-grade books, was over way too quickly. I wasn't terribly impressed with Stine's recent dip into teen hor Solid three stars, about what I expected. R. L. Stine was a very important and influential writer for me as a kid, and I had the opportunity to meet him and hear him speak at the ALA conference this year, which is where I received the ARC for this graphic novel. It's creative, nostalgic, and fast-paced, with terrific artwork from Kelly and Nichole Matthews, but as usual with middle-grade books, was over way too quickly. I wasn't terribly impressed with Stine's recent dip into teen horror with "A Midsummer Night's Scream," and this was a welcome return to form. Something about stories for preteens and younger teenagers just feels fresh and exciting, especially when he does it. So, why only 3 stars? Eh, there's some predictability to the plot. The fast pace feels rushed at times, as well as the ending. I can't tell whether this is formulaic to the genre, or just for him, but the weird-things-happening, followed by a lot of contrived moments that the characters kind of just stumble into, and then a Twist Ending doesn't thrill me the way it used to. This is good, and I'm glad to see Stine back in the middle grade sci-fi/horror corner, but I didn't have any trouble putting this away to read other things. Excited to see where this new series goes, and I will keep an eye out for it!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Wayne McCoy

    'Just Beyond: The Scare School' by R.L. Stine with art by Nichole Matthews and Kelly Matthews is a graphic novel for young readers with a spooky story. What could be more scary than school? Scare School has a name that no sane parent would send their child. It's named after a mysterious headmaster. My review copy was missing the beginning of the story, so my story began with three kids in weird clothing being pursued down a hallway by scary creatures named droggs. They manage to escap 'Just Beyond: The Scare School' by R.L. Stine with art by Nichole Matthews and Kelly Matthews is a graphic novel for young readers with a spooky story. What could be more scary than school? Scare School has a name that no sane parent would send their child. It's named after a mysterious headmaster. My review copy was missing the beginning of the story, so my story began with three kids in weird clothing being pursued down a hallway by scary creatures named droggs. They manage to escape into a school assembly. We then follow a story with some different kids and that's where the story manages to come together. It's a confusing beginning to the story, but all gets explained for patient readers. The art is passable, but I found it confusing when it changed the story perspective as well. Overall, it doesn't seem all that scary, but I have been out of school for quite a few years. It could be a fun read for a reluctant reader. I received a review copy of this graphic novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Clayton VanLeeuwen

    I certainly didn’t expect Stine’s new comic book series to start off with a sci-fi themed story. I have to say, I really liked how the comic started by placing the reader right in the thick of some weirdness without explanation. And things weren’t fully answered until the end which I’m sure will keep young readers guessing. Aside from the fact that nothing here was even remotely spooky, I do have this gripe: The narration was a glaring problem, creating a disconnect between it and the fun, expre I certainly didn’t expect Stine’s new comic book series to start off with a sci-fi themed story. I have to say, I really liked how the comic started by placing the reader right in the thick of some weirdness without explanation. And things weren’t fully answered until the end which I’m sure will keep young readers guessing. Aside from the fact that nothing here was even remotely spooky, I do have this gripe: The narration was a glaring problem, creating a disconnect between it and the fun, expressive art work. The best example I could give is when the narration is describing a fight scene through multiple text boxes. The narration in that instance zapped any sort of excitement the scene could have had by telling the reader repeatedly rather than simply showing them. That said, I look forward to reading this series in the future. Especially if R.L. gets into some more spooky, ghostly stuff.

  9. 4 out of 5

    kiki thelibrarian

    Just okay. Nothing special or especially scary about this title, though young readers may feel differently. Stilted dialogue and a confusing beginning made it hard to get into this title. The ending is definitely eerie. The preview of the next Just Beyond title is terrible - hopefully, the editor and RL Stine will find a way to rewrite the overt and awkward narration/captioning of the panel actions before the final copy goes to print. Would only recommend this to young, die-hard RL Stine fans.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Wolverinefactor

    It’s not bad but it’s not great. The art is passable. The plot is quick but never explains anything. The twist ending is typical Stine but I was hoping for more. I didn’t read the preview of the next book but a quick glance made it look like it might be better than this one.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Katie Lawrence

    This felt incredibly disjointed and confusing. The first person narration was jarring to me and everything felt underdeveloped. I was a huge fan of Stine when I was a kid. Such a shame this was so disappointing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anna Karwowska

    This was a big disappointment for me and I had to skip to the end because the story was kind of confusing and would skip around a lot. Feels like it pulled a lot (plot, monster design, etc) from Stranger Things, so it may be appealing to that fanbase.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Corrie Schuster

    Just Beyond: The Scare School is Stine's first graphic novel. It was a very enjoyable read! The style is a little different than Stine's usual books, but it has the same feel to it. I also thought it had a very good, creepy ending.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Roger Bailey

    Stine is good for suspense and sometimes his content isn't the most original. This is a disgrace to his work and the graphic novel. He's looking to build a world here instead it's a muddled mess. I can't imagine the target middle school reader knowing what the hell is going on here.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    I'm personally excited about an increase in Horror graphic novels for a Middle Grade audience - I think there are eager readers for them. I don't think this is a great book, but I thought the story was interesting and really freaky. The art for me was pretty bleh though.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Murphy

    A weird, entertaining story complimented by adorable art. I was honestly surprised to see such low ratings for this book and I wonder if actual middle-grade readers would have conflicting opinions about its quality. I am definitely looking forward to the sequel!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I didn't like the art, nor did I like the story. I don't think that middle-grade students will be scared or impressed by Just Beyond. The ending was classic RL Stine, which saved it from getting just one star.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Katelyn Patterson

    Meh

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty

    Just re-read this for Teenage Scream podcast (lovingly dissecting the best and worst of 90s teen horror): https://soundcloud.com/teenagescream

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cmeiss330

    Underwhelming story but the artwork is great!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jill Rogers

    Yikes.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Lemelin

    I had high hopes that i would enjoy this way more, but the story was just long and boring

  23. 5 out of 5

    Micah

    Amazing

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    RetRead Podcast met R.L. Stine and there's really not much else to say. A full review of this graphic novel will be in an upcoming episode of RetRead Podcast because of course it is.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    I received an ARC at Book Expo. Great graphic novel of an RL Stine book for it's intended age range.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Unidragonfrag

    It started off strong, but I guess Stine just isn't my thing anymore because that ending sucked.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Waterman

    It was a very interesting and topsy turvy book. Just like R.L. Stine's previous novels, it provides a very roundabout storyline, with a very unexpected brief ending.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kristie Elston

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