Children's and Teens' Book of the Month: The Evil Within
Book: The Evil Within by Catherine MacPhail | Age category: 8+
In The Evil Within, Catherine MacPhail brings a haunting new perspective to Robert Louis Stevenson's classic The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by focusing on young Henry Jekyll.
The story opens in 1850, and Edinburgh's Old Town is being tormented by a monster. Meanwhile, streets away in the safer, more respectable New Town, young Henry Jekyll is tormented by horrible nightmares. His mother believes these are caused by the scary stories of the beast whispered through the house by the maids, but could there be a more sinister explanation?
This is a chilling and atmospheric read for older children and teenagers with a dark mystery at its heart. If reading Cathy's story sparks your interest in the original, Barrington Stoke will be releasing a dyslexia friendly version for all readers to enjoy shortly, so watch out for that!
Q&A with Catherine MacPhail
When did you first become interested in the story of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde?
I've always loved the story of Jeckyll and Hyde, I read it first in a children's edition, before I got stuck into the original. Something about having two separate personalites inside you, one good and one evil always scared me and fascinated me. I loved the films made about it, and the stories inspired by it. But it was an April Fool I did on Facebook a couple of years ago, when I said I'd been asked to write about young Jeckyll, that really fired me up to write my own story. I can only hope I have done Robert Louis Stevenson's story justice.
Are there any other well-known characters you would like to imagine a backstory for?
I think there's a back story in just about every good character in a book. What was Fagin like as a boy? Was Moriarty always an evil genius?
But my favourite has to be Dracula. How did he become a vampire? What was he like as a boy? There are clues in the novel, I'd love to do it, so come on someone, just ask me!
What other scary stories would you recommend for young readers?
The scary stories I would recommend for young readers are:
- Whistle and I'll come to You by M R James. A really scary short story, in fact read anything by M R James.
- Room 13 by Robert Swindells. A school trip to a haunted hostel...what could be better?
- Whispers in the Graveyard by Theresa Breslin, which manages to combine spookiness with a gritty urban story.
- The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, the scariest ghost story I've read.
And of course, Dracula by Bram Stoker. And don't forget the wonderful, Strange Case of Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde!
We have 5 copies of The Evil Within to be won! To be in with a chance of winning one, just answer this question below. The competition closes on Friday 30 June 2017 at 5pm. All entrants must reside in the UK.