is the debut book by Idaho-based author Josh Allen, illustrated by UK artist Sarah Coleman, published by Holiday House Books, NYC, September 3rd 2019.

You know those books that you can’t put down because you absolutely have to, have to, have to know what happens next? This is one of them.” — Gary D. Schmidt, two-time Newbery Honor author

'Out To Get You' is a Junior Library Guild selection for 2019/20.

The cover GLOWS IN THE DARK - watch!


Daunte Coleman saw the devil on his walk to school one October morning.

The Father of All Evil was standing there, half a block up the road, red-skinned and surprisingly thin. He was leaning against the street sign at the corner of Gilbert Drive and Chestnut Way, just hanging out, holding his flame-tipped pitchfork.

No way, Daunte thought, a thrill rising in his chest. The actual devil.

Something would have to be done about Mrs. Huber, Cindy thought. Something drastic. The school year was four months old now, and while Mrs. Huber didn’t assign too much homework or force students to do group projects, Cindy found her methods to be... problematic.

It was Mrs. Huber’s voice—the way she yelled so much—that bothered Cindy.

What to do, what to do? she thought.

She ran a finger along the shelf of old books that her grandmother had left her. She had a few ideas, but nothing definite. Nothing that had really taken shape.

One thing was certain though.

It was time for someone to stop Mrs. Huber. Someone with power.


Kirkus Review: "A collection of curious incidents—13, naturally—for unsuspecting readers."

...A friend mysteriously vanishes. A kid runs into the devil on the way to school. The figures on a street sign change places. A stain on the school cafeteria’s floor is more than just a stain—it has a mouth. A straight-laced teacher gets a creative form of discipline for her “problematic” classroom-management style. Paper-towel dispensers produce ominous messages. Someone’s missing marker is used to make art that brings to life a new invasive species. Even the shadows get bad ideas. For everything, there’s a price or a consequence. Which kids can beat the odds and figure out a way for their lives to go back to normal? Or, is normal the real myth in this wondrously eerie world? Allen’s debut is mostly plot-focused, a quick (but not too quick) relay race from story to story—the longest of which spans 15 pages. Mostly creepy instead of bone-chillingly terrifying, the collection’s overall tone is more Twilight Zone than Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark. It’s also a textbook example of how horror contextualizes social anxieties, particularly those relevant to school-aged youth. Coleman mixes hand lettering with scratchy, sketchy linework to create single- or double-page black-and-white illustrations that accentuate each story. Tasty, bite-sized bizarreness for brave preteens.

Booklist Review: "Dive deep into a nightmarish wonderland where everything and nothing is as it seems in this collection of short stories complete with creepy illustrations."

...This haunting anthology will plunge young horror enthusiasts into their darkest dreams, from evading the demands of a malicious genie to hoping not to be consumed by a hungry house to sympathizing with a shadow sick and tired of serving every whim of his human. Allen expertly weaves intricate, relatable details from the tween experience with elements of the supernatural to present readers with a baker’s dozen of chilling tales, some of which impart contemporary life lessons such as being kind to animals, treating others how you’d like to be treated, and behaving well in school and at home, all with a spooky twist in time for Halloween. Selfishness, bullying, and cruelty have no place in this nevertheless scary world, which often changes in a blink. Adults nostalgic for The Twilight Zone or Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories trilogy might enjoy sharing this book with the next generation of horror fans. Kids who can’t get enough Goosebumps will revel in the anticipated but memorable twists of each story, as signposts shift, biology class becomes voodoo chaos, and devils and witches are revealed to reside among us. — Stephanie Cohen

Illustrations from 'Out To Get You', created in ink, pencil, charcoal and pen on A3 cartridge paper.

Email JOSH / Email SARAH

Where to buy:

UK: Blackwells / Book Depository / Amazon

USA: Holiday House Books / Indiebound / Amazon

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