Member Reviews

This is the first book by Jeff Strand that I've read. I used it as a read aloud with my daughter. When I was her age, I read Goosebumps and any R.L, Stine book I could get my grabby hands on. As you can probably tell, I loved a good thrill. She has taken after me and I knew when I saw this book that it would make a great read aloud with her. There were thrills and chills and just all-around fun. We laughed and enjoyed reading about Chloe, Madison and Avery...and of course Elijah (the kid next door who tries to prank them). The cover is bright and colorful which makes it very easy to want to pick up and devour.
Me and my daughter both loved it, and it won't be the last Jeff Strand book we read! I will be adding this to my home library. When I looked this book up, I noticed it was book 2 in the series. I can't wait to pick up It Watches in the Dark as well. Reading this during the summer, makes me ready for fall nights. Camping in the backyard with my family, roasting marshmallows and sharing scary stories around the campfire.

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I’m still trying to wrap my head around Jeff Strand also writing middle grade horror. Until I read It Watches in the Dark, which I think everyone should check it out, I had only read his wonderfully twisted adult books, which I highly recommend for older readers. But for younger reader who enjoy a chilling tale (or adults like myself who are still kids at heart and also love chilling tales), you should definitely check out Jeff’s middle grade work. His newest is Nightmare in the Backyard.

Chloe and a few of her friends are planing to have a fun night, camping in her backyard. What starts are a fun evening takes a sharp turn into terror. When they hear a scratching on the outside of their tent they just think it’s Elijah, Chloe’s neighbor, trying to scare them. They soon find out they couldn’t be more wrong as they are attacked by tentacles bursting up from the ground. While I still maintain that It Watches is superior, this was still a lot of fun, and I definitely didn’t see the ending coming. But the ending is also where it falters, just a hair. It got just a little too goofy for me, though is likely perfect for the target audience. So if you’re a fan of middle grade horror (aka fans of Goosebumps and the like) or know someone who is, or if you just like fun chilling tales, do yourself a favor and check this one out. I’d like to thank SOURCEBOOKS Kids and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review an eARC of Nightmare in the Backyard.

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It’s the end of summer and the end of a long year without her missing father, and Chloe is just looking forward to having a fun backyard campout complete with s’mores, spooky stories, and maybe a little gossip about boys with her best friend Avery to distract her from reality. Things start going wrong from the start, from a tent that just does not want to be put up easily to her mother’s announcement that her annoying cousin, Madison, will be joining in. Later, the even more annoying (and lazy) boy next door, Elijah, decides to start pranking them.

So when weird things start happening, the girls first suspect Elijah is playing another prank. But then their phones aren’t working. Their mothers can’t hear them screaming from the backyard to the house. And then before you know it, there are aggressive tentacles attacking them from every which way.

This book is a relatively short, fast-paced, action packed monster fest of a book that will delight and thrill those horror fanatics who are ready to move up into chapter books or who have already exhausted the selection of Goosebumps available. I’m looking forward to adding this to my list of books that I can recommend when I am inevitably asked for “the scary books.”

Normally when I review and rate books, my own opinion and my opinion for what would be a good fit for my students and library are one and the same (I genuinely love reading middle grade and young adult books!). In this case, though, my review and rating are going to be premised more on the viewpoint of my students. This particular book did not appeal to me as much, but I think that is more because this is a book that definitely focuses more on having an action-packed plot rather than thorough character development. I’m not this book’s particular audience, but the important part is that there are many many kids who are and this will definitely be an asset in any library collection, including my own.

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I always enjoy reading books from Jeff Strand, it had everything that I wanted from this type of book. I was hooked from the cover and how everything worked with the genre. It was a strong story and had that tense can't escape feel that I wanted from a camping trip story. I always enjoy the way Jeff Strand writes as it has great characters and works with the horror genre.

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Another young adult great read from Jeff Strand. Easily misses horror and humor. Great story, characters, and pacing. Can't wait for the next Juff Strand book.

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Avery Chloe, and Madison have planned a sleepover in the backyard and are quite excited; Chloe's dad a disappeared some time ago and the family has been struggling, so a fun campout is just what the doctor ordered. Our night is just beginning when the girls feel something moving under the tent, and all of a sudden giant tentacles burst from all over the yard, attacking the girls. They try to call for help, but their phones are dead, so they escape to Chloe's old treehouse, where they are joined by Elijah, the next door neighbor.
When the mother's come out of the house to see what all the commotion is, they are taken underground by huge tentacles, and Elijah is taken next. Will the girls not only survive the monster in the backyard, but also rescue the mothers and Elijah?

What I liked: The cover is very appealing and will attract readers. In addition, this book is nonstop action condensed in just a little over 100 pages, and will please reluctant readers.
It did end rather abruptly though.
I will purchase for my middle school collection.

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From my early Goosebumps days to now sharing spooky tales with my children, especially my daughter, finding the perfect mix of thrills and giggles has been a cherished tradition for us. "Nightmare in the Backyard" was a delightful surprise that had us laughing and shivering with excitement! Picture this: a backyard campout with friends, marshmallows roasting over the fire, and spooky stories filling the air. But when strange scratching noises and tentacles appear, the fun takes a spine-tingling turn! Jeff Strand's storytelling magic kept us glued to the pages, eagerly anticipating what would happen next. Chloe, Avery, and Madison had us cheering them on as they faced down a cryptid creature straight from our wildest dreams. With its perfect blend of humor and heart-pounding suspense, Nightmare in the Backyard delivered an unforgettable adventure that left us screaming for more. It's a must-read for any young thrill-seeker looking for a spooky good time!

Thank you Jeff Strand and Netgalley for sending us this amazing ARC

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I love Jeff Strand! I started reading his fun adult horror stories and this is his second book I've read for him that's for kids. The night starts innocently enough before children camping in the backyard encounter a scary monster.
What's fun about these books id that they start with normal situations, and anyone could relate to these friendly, smart kids. It's also really great that, instead of just accepting the bad situation, the kids work together to try to figure out how to save themselves -- and save the grownups they love. I highly recommend this for kids who enjoy being a little scared. Thanks to NetGalley for letting me read this

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This is the second book in a new middle grade series. I think young readers will find this book both scary and silly. Chloe, Avery, and Madison planned a backyard sleepover, complete with marshmallows and scary stories. But what they didn’t plan for was an ancient monster with lots of tentacles. The story made me nostalgic for backyard sleepovers from when I was a kid.

I enjoyed all of the different ways the kids tried to defeat the tentacles. They did several clever things, like writing notes and using boards with nails. I loved that the kids came together to save everyone in the end. It did become a bit repetitive, but didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the story.

If you are a reader who enjoys fun middle grade scares or knows someone who does, I recommend you read this book.

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"'He was born with two arms, two legs, and one head, but the luxury of having a head wouldn't last forever.'"

Chloe and her best friend Avery are camping out in the backyard. And Chloe's annoying cousin is tagging along. The night starts out as fun (nostalgic for me) until things take a sudden turn to weird and scary.

This was a fun read. Would recommend for fans of Goosebumps.

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Fun book especially for a younger audience looking to get into the horror genre! Thought this was super endearing and exciting!

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Second in Jeff Strand's new EEK! middle grade Series, NIGHTMARE IN THE BACK YARD turns a simple backyard sleepover camp-out into a night of inexplicable unending Cryptid Creature Horror for 3 girls when the back yard erupts with....tentacles! All their resilience and ingenuity is tested as they discover their fully charged cell phones are dead, their voices can't be heard by anyone, and the tentacles won't allow them to reach their house! This is well-written Implacable Horror, with a set of endearing, determined, intrepid characters, stranded in a bizarre unaccountable situation, and only they can save themselves. Or can they? Read and find out!

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