Written by J.A. White

Publisher’s Summary:
A boy is imprisoned by a witch and must tell her a new scary story each night to stay alive.

Primary Source Pairing:
In a truly terrifying mash up of fairy tale elements, Alex must weave together stories of his own to have any hope of escaping his Hansel-and-Gretel-style living nightmare. For this primary source pairing,  invite students to study an illustration of Hansel and Gretel, created by children’s book illustrator Arthur Rackham in 1909.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What people and objects are shown?
  • How are they arranged?
  • What is the physical setting?
  • What’s happening in the image?
  • Make a connection to something you see in this painting to something you read in Nightbooks.
  • What other fairy tale elements were present in Nightbooks?
  • How do you feel when you study this painting?
  • How did you feel as you were reading the book Nightbooks?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Hansel and Gretel, created by Arthur Rackham, 1909: Wikimedia Commons