Lockwood & Co. The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan StroudLockwood & Co. The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

Lockwood & Co. The Screaming Staircase

byJonathan Stroud

Paperback | August 26, 2014

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A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city, and they aren't exactly friendly. Only young people have the psychic abilities required to see-and eradicate-these supernatural foes. Many different Psychic Detection Agencies have cropped up to handle the dangerous work, and they are in fierce competition for business.

In The Screaming Staircase, the plucky and talented Lucy Carlyle teams up with Anthony Lockwood, the charismatic leader of Lockwood & Co, a small agency that runs independent of any adult supervision. After an assignment leads to both a grisly discovery and a disastrous end, Lucy, Anthony, and their sarcastic colleague, George, are forced to take part in the perilous investigation of Combe Carey Hall, one of the most haunted houses in England. Will Lockwood & Co. survive the Hall's legendary Screaming Staircase and Red Room to see another day?

Readers who enjoyed the action, suspense, and humor in Jonathan Stroud's internationally best-selling Bartimaeus books will be delighted to find the same ingredients, combined with deliciously creepy scares, in his thrilling and chilling Lockwood & Co. series.


Praise for Screaming Staircase, The
"This story will keep you reading late into the night, but you'll want to leave the lights on. Stroud is a genius at inventing an utterly believable world which is very much like ours, but so creepily different. Put The Screaming Staircase on your 'need to read' list!"
-Rick Riordan

"A pleasure from tip to tail, this is the book you hand the advanced readers that claim they'd rather read Paradise Lost than Harry Potter. Smart as a whip, funny, witty, and honestly frightening at times, Stroud lets loose and gives readers exactly what they want. Ghosts, kids on their own without adult supervision, and loads of delicious cookies."
-Elizabeth Bird, School Library Journal

"Stroud shows his customary flair for blending deadpan humor with thrilling action, and the fiery interplay among the three agents of Lockwood & Co. invigorates the story (along with no shortage of creepy moments)."
-Publishers Weekly

"Three young ghost trappers take on deadly wraiths and solve an old murder case in the bargain to kick off Stroud's new post-Bartimaeus series. The work is fraught with peril, not only because a ghost's merest touch is generally fatal, but also, as it turns out, none of the three is particularly good at careful planning and preparation. A heartily satisfying string of entertaining near-catastrophes, replete with narrow squeaks and spectral howls."
-Kirkus Reviews

"...Stroud writes for a younger audience in book one of the Lockwood & Co. series and delivers some chilling scenes along the way."
-Booklist
Jonathan Stroud (www.jonathanstroud.com) is the author of the New York Times best-selling Bartimaeus Trilogy, as well as Heroes of the Valley, The Leap, The Last Siege, and Buried Fire. He lives in England with his family.
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Title:Lockwood & Co. The Screaming StaircaseFormat:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 7.5 × 5.25 × 0.88 inPublished:August 26, 2014Publisher:Disney-HyperionLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1423186923

ISBN - 13:9781423186922

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Creepy, spooky and eerie Being the huge Supernatural fan that I am, a middle grade novel with ghost hunting, murders and mysteries seemed like a fitting choice for me - and as it turns out, it actually really was. <b><i>“God rest her soul and may she never walk at night”</i></b> Stroud presents us a world where something dark, disturbing and inexplicable happened in London, causing an outbreak of ghosts, specters, haunts and spirits to roam on Earth - not all are harmful, but not all are friendly either. They call it the Problem. Only the young are sensitive enough to properly sense and fight the presence of these paranormal beings. <b><i>“I wasn't pretty, but as my mother once said, prettiness wasn't my profession.” </i></b> We follow the narrative Lucy Carlyle who has two special talents: she can hear the voices of the dead and can experience their emotions by touching objects that once belonged to the deceased. After an incident in her hometown, she moves to London where she joins forces with Anthony Lockwood and George Cubbins in a small independent ghost hunting agency called Lockwood & Co. After a case gone completely wrong, their agency is about to shut down, but lucky for them - or unlucky, depending on how you view this - they find themselves in the middle of a dangerous murder investigation. To redeem themselves, they have to risk their lives, face supernatural foes and wander into a terrifying mansion. <b><i>“Really?" "No. I'm being ironic. Or is it sarcastic? I can never remember." "Irony's cleverer, so you're probably being sarcastic.”</i></b> This book was quite honestly a lot of fun to read. It was the perfect blend of spookiness, creepiness, eeriness, humour and wit. As someone who likes a good spooky tale but might need to sleep with the lights one, this one managed to keep a good balance. It kept you on edge with eerie descriptions and set a dark (as dark as it can be for a middle grade book) tone to the book, but also lightened the mood by cracking smart jokes. I really like the world it was set in, but my one of my concerns was that I was slightly unsure of the era it took place in the beginning. I wasn’t entirely certain where to situate myself in time, so it was a bit confusing at first. This is my first novel by Jonathan Stroud and I think I’m going to have to pick up all his books now because I really like his writing style, it's great! The characters were another strong point in my opinion. We are given enough information to connect with them, but there's also enough mystery surrounding them, leaving room for questions and character growth. Their interaction was also something I liked - they didn't always get along, they fought, made poor decisions together considering they had no adult supervision, but when it mattered, they were able to put aside their differences and work well together. A lot of novels these days tend to show stubborn characters who refuse to cooperate even when their life is in danger which is completely ridiculous, and I'm glad this one didn't follow the trend. Overall, I think the book delivered all the necessary components for a good middle grade horror novel. I can't wait to continues the series and see what happens next to our young protagonists.
Date published: 2018-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderfully creepy, for all ages! 4.5 stars for this super fun, creepy and fast-paced book. This may say it's a Middle Grade book, and certainly it could be given to a kid 9 and up, but don't be deceived by that everyone will enjoy Lockwood & Co! Why only 4.5 stars? The reason for my deduction of 0.5 stars is perhaps going to sound petty to some; but it's a real pet peeve of mine. Jonathan Stroud is British and The Screaming Staircase is set in London. So can someone explain to me why, in the copy I read, the temperatures are in Fahrenheit?! Almost everywhere in the world (including here in Canada) we use Celsius. No child in the UK would use Fahrenheit. I am assuming, much like changes made to Harry Potter, that the publisher decided to change the Celsius to Fahrenheit to market to children in the USA. Now, you're thinking to yourself, but Mel how many times can they possibly mention the temperature? A lot!! As one of the main indicators of 'visitors' (aka ghosts or spirits) is that the temperature drops it is mentioned a few dozen times. Now I realize this is clearly not Stroud's choice. However, instead of changing the scale used what about putting a conversion chart at the beginning or end of the book. Maybe we can teach the USA children about Celsius instead of forcing the rest of the world to manage the metric used by one country. This is a classic example of publishing houses catering to the USA and stuffing everyone else into that category (especially us Canadians). Okay, rant over. So many questions! Overall Stroud is a genius. He takes a simple idea, the world is plagued by visitors that are a menace and can kill people with ghost touch, and creates an intricate world around it. Only children can see the manifestations and so they are the best equipped to fight these menaces and clear places of the visitors. Obviously this comes with it's own set of morale questions. What age is too young to start? When things go wrong is the child responsible? Is it worth the sacrifice of youth to battle the visitors? These questions are more are handled exquisitely in The Screaming Staircase. I'm so sad it's such a quick read as I didn't want to leave the world yet. I'll be ordering the next couple in this series immediately! I'm also going to be purchasing this series for my 13-year-old nephew for the holidays as I know he will love the creepiness. What kid doesn't want to read about a 'red room' which fills with ghost plasma that looks like blood, a staircase where the screaming incapacities you, a ghost so unhappy she kills current residents of the home? And these are only examples of some of the things are three lead characters encounter. Bring on the sarcasm and fun! The other thing that is amazing about Stroud is that he is able to write kids books that are sarcastic and funny. Alongside all that creepiness and atmosphere our three lead kids are able to poke fun at each other and fight over the silliest things (who gets the last cookie); just like normal children do. Without a doubt the humour in The Screaming Staircase is critical to breaking some of the tension and scariness that comes along with the story itself. Am I a child or an adult? Most of all what I love is Stroud's handling of the conflicts and emotions that come from children playing at being adults. As the eldest child with two younger siblings in my family (one of whom has Type 1 diabetes) I remember a lot of moments as a kid where I felt I had to pretend to be more adult than I was. Even when it wasn't, I often felt like it was my responsibility to handle situations. As Lockwood & Co. has no 'adult supervisors' you see them struggle with this paradigm a lot. When can they show weakness? How do they convince adults they are competent and capable? And at what point is it okay to just collapse and let someone else take care of things. There are no easy answers to these questions but Stroud does an excellent job of helping readers understand that it's okay to show weakness and to reinforce that we ALL have weaknesses. It's less about what that weakness is and more about how we compensate for it. That by surrounding ourselves with people who we trust and will help us we can be both strong and weak as needed. Buy it for everyone! I think this will be my go-to book/series to buy for anyone over the age of 10 for the next while. I look forward to buying multiple copies for kids (including my nephew)! While there is a lot of substance in this book, it still feels like a break as the language is simple and easy to follow. Do yourself, or those around you a favour and pick this gem up! Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
Date published: 2017-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Amazing! I love this series like crazy, just amazing!
Date published: 2017-07-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So great Such a great author, you can't go wrong with a stroud book!
Date published: 2017-04-22

Editorial Reviews

"A pleasure from tip to tail, this is the book you hand the advanced readers that claim they'd rather read Paradise Lost than Harry Potter. Smart as a whip, funny, witty, and honestly frightening at times, Stroud lets loose and gives readers exactly what they want. Ghosts, kids on their own without adult supervision, and loads of delicious cookies."
-Elizabeth Bird, School Library Journal