Granny by Anthony Horowitz is a tale one part chilling evil and one part deep, dark, hilarity. Joe Warden is 12 years old and he can’t stand his parents, his house or his family’s day-to-day life. His parents are wealthy but inattentive, wrapped up in their own bizarre pursuits. Joe’s only solace is his nanny, a kindly woman who provides Joe with the motherly nurturing, attention and protection to which his actual mother is oblivious.
When Joe’s Granny comes for a visit Joe has one of those eye-opening realizations that the Granny he always thought favored him is actually an evil old woman who despises him for some reason. Everyone else seems to think Granny is just a cantankerous old person whose unpleasant and demanding ways must be tolerated due to her advanced age.
Joe’s epiphany turns out to be correct; Granny is, indeed, evil beyond measure. The heinous acts Granny commits against Joe, those he loves and even strangers are horrifying and yet Anthony Horowitz manages to drip with such sarcasm when he relates them that you end up laughing instead of shuddering.
In the same vein as Roald Dahl’s The Witches, Joe finds himself in mortal danger as the full extent of Granny’s horrific plans for him began to take shape when she abducts him and forces him to travel with her to a macabre meeting of her Granny Society. The climax of the Granny conspiracy had me involuntarily clenching my stomach.
Even when it’s over…it’s NOT over.
For any reader–young or old–who enjoys a good scary tale as well as a wickedly smart and funny parody Granny fits the bill! I highly encourage readers who are at least 9 or 10 to give this one a try. You won’t be sorry!