Class Is Not Dismissed! Return to School of Fear

September 12, 2010 at 4:22 pm 4 comments

School of Fear: Class Is Not Dismissed! by Gitty Daneshvari; illustrated by Carrie Gifford; pulbished by Little, Brown and Company, New York; 2010.

NOTE: This review is based on an ARC (advance reading copy) provided for free by the publisher.  The cover art, below, and the publication information is subject to change.  Expected release date: September 14, 2010.

A year has passed since Madeleine, Theo, Lulu and Garrison were dismissed from Mrs. Wellington’s School of Fear.  Letters arrive at the homes of all four former students requiring them all to return to School of Fear as their fears have not been fully cured.  When they arrive, they discover a mystery that threatens to shut down the secretive school.  They also learn a fifth student has joined them.  Hyacinth adds her fear of being alone, and her pet ferret Celery, to the idiosyncrasies of the visitors to Summerstone.  Can they overcome their fears and help dear Mrs. Wellington keep the school open?

At first, I figured I was at a great disadvantage having not read the first book in the series.  However, I was pleasantly surprised that this book not only stands on its own, but the author has also cleverly made mention of highlights from book one in concise descriptions that didn’t make me feel left out.  Daneshvari also clearly defines the characters and their quirks completely and quickly, which helped me get up to speed and fall into the story.

If you’re not familiar with Daneshvari’s School of Fear books, she cleverly uses phobias.  Of course, the obvious purpose of the fears is the premise of the story: A woman has created a secretive school in which children are taught to overcome their deepest, darkest fears.  Those fears color their reactions to each other and to the situations presented in the plot.  But fears also act as chapter titles.  Each chapter opens with the line “EVERYONE’S AFRAID OF SOMETHING” which is followed by a name of a phobia and its description.  Somehow, each phobia plays an integral role in the unfolding story in their respective chapters.  For example, the chapter titled “Xanthophobia is the fear of the color yellow” includes villains in yellow sweaters.

While I really enjoyed the use of fears in forming the storylines, the best reason to read this book is the humor.  Because of the laugh-out-loud lines, I would absolutely use this as a read-aloud.  School librarians or teachers could read a chapter or two at a time to students in grades 2-5 or 6.  Each character’s dialog is unique which is great for using voices in reading performance.  Students in grades 3-6 will enjoy reading this series as well.

The publisher has a fun multi-media website dedicated to the series.  Read the Phobia Dictionary, learn about Macaroni (the bulldog), and see the enrollment video.  Other activities are also available on the site:


Entry filed under: ARC or galley, Mystery. Tags: , , , , , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. love  |  October 8, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    i love this book so much only on page 60 but so far so good

  • 2. ariana  |  October 15, 2012 at 6:58 am

    i like this book so far and im on page 25 but who would enter a school called school of fear

  • 3. Radha  |  August 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    i love this book omg!

  • 4. Amy  |  January 3, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    … An laugh out loud book. I really enjoyed it!


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Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that sometimes books are received for review for free by publishers or authors. All books (ARCs, galleys, library or purchased) will be reviewed fairly; no special consideration is given to anything reviewed on this blog. In addition, I make every attempt to avoid spoilers. Sometimes they happen inadvertently or because they are important to defend a review; not all spoilers have been removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement included as a warning to readers.

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