Hide Sora notification

Try Sora - the student reading app, by OverDrive

Apple App Store
Google Play Store
  Main Nav
Gloom Town
Cover of Gloom Town
Gloom Town
Borrow Borrow Borrow
A delightfully creepy novel from a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award winner imbued with magic and seafaring mythology. Lemony Snicket and Jessica Townsend meet Greenglass House, with a...
A delightfully creepy novel from a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award winner imbued with magic and seafaring mythology. Lemony Snicket and Jessica Townsend meet Greenglass House, with a...
Available Formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    always available
  • Library copies:
    always available

Recommended for you

 

Description-

  • A delightfully creepy novel from a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award winner imbued with magic and seafaring mythology. Lemony Snicket and Jessica Townsend meet Greenglass House, with a hint of Edward Gorey thrown in.
    When twelve-year-old Rory applies for a job at a spooky old mansion in his gloomy seaside town, he finds the owner, Lord Foxglove, odd and unpleasant. But he and his mom need the money, so he takes the job anyway. Rory soon finds out that his new boss is not just strange, he's not even human—and he's trying to steal the townspeople's shadows. Together, Rory and his friend Isabella set out to uncover exactly what Foxglove and his otherworldly accomplices are planning and devise a strategy to defeat them. But can two kids defeat a group of ancient evil beings who are determined to take over the world?
    Another delightfully creepy tale from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award–winning author, Ronald L. Smith.

About the Author-

  • Ronald L. Smith is the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award–winning author of Hoodoo,The Mesmerist, The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away, and Black Panther: The Young Prince. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland. www.strangeblackflowers.com
    Twitter: @RonSmithbooks.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    December 1, 2019
    Two friends team up to save their town from an ancient supernatural evil in this suspenseful middle-grade novel. In his latest work, Smith (The Owls Have Come To Take Us Away, 2019, etc.) weaves together an eerie adventure narrative as nail-biting and mysterious as Roald Dahl's The Witches. Set in a downtrodden seaside town appropriately named Gloom, the tale follows a single mother and her son. Desperate to help in the endless struggle to make ends meet, Rory, a young dark-skinned biracial boy who takes after his father instead of his white mother, regards a job notice advertising a valet position at the opulent Foxglove Manor as a godsend. He's so eager he overlooks the townwide speculation that the manor contains some malevolent spirit. Before long, Rory can no longer ignore the sinister butler whose face looks inhuman, the mysterious dinner guests who aren't served food yet leave behind a pile of bones with the marrow sucked out, and a human heart found buried in the back garden. When Lord Foxglove, his enigmatic employer, discovers Rory snooping, he is forced to flee for his life. Together with best friend Izzy, a white girl who lives next door, Rory sets out to unravel the mystery of the manor and save Gloom from whatever lurks inside. Anchoring this well-paced story is a solid cast of characters whose central relationships feel authentic and grounded. A yarn as full of magic and intrigue as any fairy tale or pirate song. (Suspense. 10-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 16, 2019
    In this quirky dark fantasy set in a small seaside town known as Gloom, a boy, desperate to help his mother pay the rent on the cottage they share, takes a job as a gentleman’s valet, only to discover that his frightening new master may be an ancient inhuman entity with a sinister agenda. Rory, 12, who is biracial, isn’t sure what to make of bald-headed, black-bearded Lord Foxglove and his butler Malvonius, or their strict rules and his contract’s “upon penalty of death” clause, but the pay is too good to pass up. After Rory overhears a conversation between Foxglove and his colleagues that reveals an upcoming “great harvest,” he discovers his predecessor’s grizzly fate. To prevent calamity from befalling the entire town, Rory and his best friend, red-haired fledgling witch Izzy, must find a way to thwart Foxglove’s plans. This atmospheric tale by Smith (The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away) conjures up a seaside setting full of secrets and long-lost legends. Though its resolution arrives abruptly—with last-minute revelations that leave the door open for future installments—the intriguing characters, eerie moments, and lurking peril prove a winning combination. Ages 10–12. Agent: Adriann Ranta Zurhellen, Foundry Literary + Media.

  • School Library Journal

    January 1, 2020

    Gr 5-7-Rory has lived in Gloom, a small, bleak fishing village all his life. His single mom can barely make ends meet, so when Rory sees that there's a job available at notoriously creepy Foxglove Manor, he decides the benefits outweigh the risks and applies for the position. Given a huge advance on his salary, he's initially ecstatic that he's able to help his mom pay the rent. However, he soon finds out that Lord Foxglove is even more evil than the rumors say. In fact, the whole town is in danger! Rory enlists his best friend Izzy to help defeat the supernatural forces that reside in the manor. While the town itself is a big part of the story, world-building is lacking, and everything wraps up way too neatly. A full cast of eccentric characters has potential, but none are fully developed. Despite all this, the story is far darker than the cover suggests, so budding horror fans may overlook some of the flaws for the chills it provides. Nonstop action also propels the story, making for a quick and relatively engaging read. VERDICT Despite some structural bumps along the way, this creepy adventure has promise. Recommended for general purchase.-Mandy Laferriere, Fowler Middle School, Frisco, TX

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    December 1, 2019
    Grades 4-6 Rory, a good lad, lives with his hardworking mother near the docks in a town called Gloom. When he realizes that Mum's earnings will no longer cover the rent, he takes the only job available: gentleman's valet at sinister Foxglove Manor. Soon he's responsible for every menial task in the monstrous house. Terrified of Lord Foxglove, Rory works very hard, yet he awakens in the night to the sounds of weird chanting. After he and his best friend Izzy uncover disturbing clues to an ongoing mystery, they marshal their wits, their allies, and all the unexpected magic within them to set things right. Smith, who won the 2016 Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe Award for New Talent after writing Hoodoo (2015), spins a new, spine-tingling tale of good people facing down supernatural forces of evil. Once the well-drawn characters and distinctive setting are established, the story becomes increasingly involving, fast-paced, and imaginative. The final chapters will leave readers wondering what other riveting adventures await Rory and Izzy and hoping that sequels will follow.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

Title Information+

  • Publisher
    HMH Books
  • Kindle Book
    Release date:
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:

Digital Rights Information+

  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You have reached the maximum number of titles you are allowed to recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 3 titles every 1 days.

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend this title for your digital library.

Close

Enhanced Details:

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

MP3 audiobooks are only supported on macOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) through 10.14 (Mojave). Learn more about MP3 audiobook support on Macs.

Close

Please update to the latest version of the OverDrive app to stream videos.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Recommend this title for your digital library
Gloom Town
Gloom Town
Ronald L. Smith
Optional:
Close
Buy it now
and support our digital library!
Gloom Town
Gloom Town
Ronald L. Smith
A portion of your purchase goes to support your digital library.
Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel

Sora Turbo
Get the app!
Apple App Store
Google Play Store
Brought to you by Cedarburg School District, and built with 💕 by OverDrive.
Close

Renewing this title won't extend your lending period. Instead, it will let you borrow the title again immediately after your first lending period expires.

Close

You can't renew this title because there are holds on it. However, you can join the holds list and be notified when it becomes available for you to borrow again.

Close