The Clackity | Lora Senf


The Clackity by Lora Senf

Out Now from Atheneum Books for Young Readers; 288 pages

Content Warnings: mentions of death and murder, loss of parents, depiction of a house fire,

About the Author: “Lora Senf is a wife and mom to twins. She is also a writer of dark and twisty middle grade and young adult stories. Lora finds inspiration for her writing in her children’s retellings of their dreams, on road trips through Montana, and most recently in an abandoned abattoir. As a young reader, she raised herself on classic fairy tales, John Bellairs, Ray Bradbury, and Stephen King (she read Cujo when she was eight and was simultaneously terrified and hooked). Today, she still prefers a rainy day and a scary book to nearly anything
else. When she isn’t reading for school, she’s reading fiction—mostly horror or anything a little
weird and unsettling. Lora credits her love of words to her parents and to the public library that
was walking distance from her childhood home. Lora is a member of SCBWI, Horror Writers
Association, and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association.” (Bio taken from author’s website).

Find Lora Senf on the following platforms:

“I felt the familiar fingers of panic creeping up the back of my neck. Those fingers dug their way into my throat. My heart and lungs worked too hard and fast, and I began to shiver like it wasn’t almost a hundred degrees outside.”

In Blight Harbor, the seventh most haunted town in America, strangeness is the norm. Ghosts
and other things that go bump in the night are all around. No one knows this better than Evie
Von Rathe, who moved to the spooky town to live with her paranormal expert aunt, Desdemona,
after her parents’ mysterious disappearance. Evie delights in all things creepy, so for her, Blight
Harbor is the perfect place to live. But the danger that supernatural entities hold quickly becomes
apparent when Aunt Des goes missing in the town’s abandoned slaughterhouse. Desperate to
find the only family she has left, Evie makes a deal with a creature called The Clackity, who
promises safety for her and her aunt if she can bring it, infamous serial killer, John Jeffrey Pope.
Will Evie manage to save her aunt and outwit The Clackity before becoming another one of
Pope’s victims?

The Clackity, Lora Senf’s debut novel, is a spine-chilling middle grade horror that packs a
serious emotional punch. There was a lot to love in this creepy story, from Senf’s world-building
prowess to the fantastic setting. Blight Harbor and the other world Evie enters felt like characters
in their own right. The use of detail in the novel was also great. I especially loved the descriptions of the three witch sisters and penny-eyed ghosts. The illustrations sprinkled throughout, which had a perfect balance of spookiness and whimsy, are a wonderful addition. One of my favorite aspects of The Clackity is the anxiety representation. Evie’s anxious thoughts and panic attacks are depicted with accuracy and sensitivity. I think many readers who deal with anxiety will feel validated and empowered by Evie’s journey. I highly recommend this story to fans of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, or anyone looking for a well-crafted creepy tale!

PRR Writer, Emily Pimental