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In Clive Barker’s Abarat, readers meet 16-year-old Candy Quackenbush, a small-town girl with an alcoholic father and weak-willed mother. Candy knows there are more interesting places out there and longs for something weird.

When Candy meets the John brothers, a creature with 1 body and 8 heads, she brings the ocean tide up on Chickentown, Minnesota and is taken out of this world . . . to Abarat—where the hours of the day are geographical locations and Carrion, the Lord of Midnight, plots to destroy it all.

First in a trilogy, the hardcover version of Abarat is full of horrifyingly beautiful illustrations created by the author himself.

Clive Barker, who is known for his horror novels, does create some truly scary creatures in Abarat, as well as a few disturbing descriptions. However, the story itself is more fantastical and character-driven, making this thrilling adventure perfect for a younger audience.


“Freed of the monster’s grip, Candy looked straight down into Julius’ face. His crawling features had assembled now. His eyes were wide and hungry. His mouth wore the contented smile of a hunter who believed he had his prey trapped…”

Candy is an entertainingly independent character who hardly complains and has good presence of mind to deal with the many weird characters and situations she encounters.

Lovers of otherworldly fantasy and horror genres will delight in Candy’s journey through Abarat and its many bizarre islands, as she befriends, accompanies, helps, loses, destroys, and generally disrupts many of its occupants.

Recommended for ages 10 and up
Lexile: 760
ISBN (hardcover 2002): 978-0060280925

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Guest Post by Myra

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