Book Review: Evil Eye (Middle Grade)

Evil Eye

                            Evil EyeAuthor: Jeff Szpirglas

Gold Stars 4-5Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Highly Recommended Reading.

Genre: Middle Grade/ Speculative Fiction / Supernatural / Horror.

Jake is a nice guy… maybe too nice for his own good and following his best friend Jonathan around does not help keep him out of trouble. In fact, with Jonathan’s propensity for wandering off on school trips their latest outing to the local cemetery is just another ‘good excuse’ for him to get his ‘curiosity’ on. The problem is, what they find there is more than just a few bruises and scrapes… even more than a wedgie from the school bully – it’s enough to make your eyes pop out… or at least one.

As an adult reading this book what I loved about Evil Eye is how well it explains why kids go from relatively normal or average, nice little humans and suddenly when they get to that age (pre-teen/early teens) things start going haywire… like they’re suddenly not the same kid anymore. Szpirglas had me flipping one page after the other toward the end of the book trying to figure out how he could possibly end the story with so few pages of words left. In all actuality I was disappointed at first but then, I realized why a big chunk of the action was missing and I had to applaud him for the added suspense. Evil Eye ends in such a way that it could either stand alone or be the first in a trilogy, which is great for young readers.

My favourite part of the book is actually a very teacherly moment (as that’s an aspect of our background that both Jeff and I share) when Jake’s hand is out of his control and gives a finger… the wrong finger… to his teacher! Jake’s mortification battles his inability to explain and he actually learns a lot about his ability to roll with the punches. In fact, Jake’s growth as a young human is masterfully revealed through Szpirglas’ ability to toss the incredible at this kid and see just how we’re able to deal with the worst and still manage to survive.

The only reason I haven’t given Evil Eye top marks is for personal reasons – it was a great book but it didn’t “wow” me as a reader. Without a doubt though, middle grade male readers who like a good scare should definitely read this book.

By M.J. Moores, OCT. Author. Editor.


As I get ready to attend the Vaughan Libraries “BOOKFEST” this afternoon I would like leave a review on a book I bought at last year’s festival (sorry it’s taken me so long to post Jeff!). Don’t forget to support your local authors 😀

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