Middle-Grade Book Review: Red Rover by Christopher Krovatin #MiddleGrade #Horror #BookReview #RedRover

Red Rover

by Christopher Krovatin


Sit, stay, die. Dogs aren’t always man’s best friend.

When Amy sees a dog stranded on the side of the highway, she knows what she has to do. She tells her dad to stop the car. She can’t understand why anyone would abandon a dog in such a way, tied up and blindfolded. Amy’s parents say they’ll only keep the dog until they can find it a permanent home. Amy’s younger sister names the dog Rover. 

They take Rover into their house, their family. And once he’s there . . . he doesn’t want to leave. 

Amy loves dogs. But she starts to worry when strange things start happening in the house. Objects move. Lights go off. Accidents happen. 

Soon man’s best friend has turned into Amy’s worst nightmare.The problem isn’t Rover’s bark or his bite – it’s even creepier than that. This dog’s purpose is evil . . . and if’s waiting to be unleashed.

My thoughts:

Amy’s driving home with her family one day when they see a dog tied up off the road—all alone and deserted. The poor dog looks abused with tape over his muzzle. Instantly, they pull over and run to help the dog. It’s love at first sight for the girls who fall in love with Rover straight away. He appears to be a gentle dog, and the family wonders who could treat a dog so cruelly.

Amy knelt down beside the shepherd and scratched his neck. The dog panted and looked from Katie to Amy with his tongue lolling out, regarding them both. What a good dog, thought Amy. Strong, too, and brave.

Her parents agree to take him along in an attempt to get some help. After bringing him home, they begin to notice strange things happening. Amy realizes they may have made a mistake bringing Rover home, but Amy’s little sister, Katie, knows one thing: she’s not giving up on her favorite dog, even though he’s become quite the nightmare for everyone else in the family.

“I won’t let them send you away, Rover!” cried Katie.

This turned out to be a well-written, spine-chilling story. It has just the right amount of horror for middle graders without being too scary, but I have to say, there were some grotesque parts. The recommended reading age is 8-12, but it may be too much for very sensitive readers because it involves a possessed pet, which can be terrifying. If you have a younger reader who loves R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series or just scary stories in general, definitely give this one a shot. 

I had a minor issue near the end because of the way the family handled something, but it turned out perfectly. You definitely have to keep in mind that this family is dealing with a demonized dog. My daughter was quickly looking online to see if there might be another book with that cliffhanger! I’m hopeful there will be too. 

We all agreed with five-stars for this one.

Find this book on Amazon and Goodreads:

  • Publisher : Scholastic Inc. (March 2, 2021)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 240 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1338629093
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1338629095
  • Reading age : 8 – 12 years
  • Lexile measure : 810L
  • Grade level : 3 – 7

Thanks for reading my review of Red Rover. Are you a fan of scary stories? Feel free to leave comments below.


10 thoughts on “Middle-Grade Book Review: Red Rover by Christopher Krovatin #MiddleGrade #Horror #BookReview #RedRover

  1. I would have been all over this as a young reader. I get what you mean about it being a little heavy for some readers. And I love that your daughter was looking for another book – kids reading and getting excited about books warms my heart!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I assume it might be too much for some because of the more gross parts, and also the witchcraft, etc. A part of the ending was hard for me, but you have to keep in mind that this dog is a demon. 😆 To me it’s a horror story and that’s just to be expected; it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.

      I agree! It’s a beautiful thing when kids get excited about reading. Thanks, Teri. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful review Jen, but I don’t think this is a book that I will be reading to my grandkids anytime soon, probably never. I love dogs, and don’t want to spoil it with an evil one.


  3. Pingback: May Wrap-up 2021 #Books #BookReviews #MayWrapUp #Music – ReadRantRock&Roll

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