Gloom Town (Paperback)
A delightfully creepy novel from a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award winner imbued with magic and seafaring mythology. Lemony Snicket and Jessica Townsend meet Greenglass House, with a hint of Edward Gorey thrown in.
When twelve-year-old Rory applies for a job at a spooky old mansion in his gloomy seaside town, he finds the owner, Lord Foxglove, odd and unpleasant. But he and his mom need the money, so he takes the job anyway. Rory soon finds out that his new boss is not just strange, he’s not even human—and he’s trying to steal the townspeople’s shadows.
Together, Rory and his friend Isabella set out to uncover exactly what Foxglove and his otherworldly accomplices are planning and devise a strategy to defeat them. But can two kids defeat a group of ancient evil beings who are determined to take over the world?
Ronald L. Smith is the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award–winning author of several acclaimed novels for young readers, including Hoodoo, The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away, Gloom Town, Where the Black Flowers Bloom, and the Black Panther: The Young Prince series. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland. To learn more, visit strangeblackflowers.com.
"This atmospheric tale by Smith (The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away) conjures up a seaside setting full of secrets and long-lost legends....the intriguing characters, eerie moments, and lurking peril prove a winning combination." — Publishers Weekly
"Anchoring this well-paced story is a solid cast of characters whose central relationships feel authentic and grounded." — Kirkus Reviews
"Once the well-drawn characters and distinctive setting are established, the story becomes increasingly involving, fast-paced, and imaginative." — Booklist
"Smith is a deft hand at creating unforgettable villains." — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books