May 2023, Scholastic, 304 pp
Serenity Noah has never told anyone about her recurring nightmare, where a silver butterfly leads her to a shadowy, silent monster. Her parents already favor her little brother, Peace, and as the “different one” in the family, she doesn’t want to be more of a problem child. So she channels her fear in a productive way–by trying to create a horror movie as scary as her nightmare.
When Peace suddenly becomes afraid of the dark and refuses to sleep alone, her parents take him for treatment on Duppy Island. Serenity immediately knows something is wrong on the island: it’s gray and foggy, completely silent and the facility is run by the creepy Doctor Whisper who acts like it’s more of a jail than a clinic. But she never expected that the island would be the home of douens–who are trapped between the world of the living and the land of the dead, and are eager for Peace to join their ranks.
From the author: “This is middle grade horror inspired by Caribbean folklore with the tone and atmosphere of a Jordan Peele film. I wrote this book because I really love spooky stories set in confined settings, where the characters have to face their fears, but just like Peele’s films, NIGHTMARE ISLAND is more than entertaining thrills.
It’s a story about tracking Black family ancestry, and repairing broken lineage. It explores issues such as dealing with high parental expectations and the danger of striving for perfection. It is a tale about sibling love, the strength of a family bond, and how that love conquers fear.”