Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of Long Live the Pumpkin Queen by Shea Ernshaw 

Long Live the Pumpkin Queen

by Shea Ernshaw

Publisher: Disney Enterprises, Inc

Imprint: Disney Press

Release date: August 2, 2022

ISBN: 9781368069601

Sally finally has her happily ever after; she’s married to her love, Jack Skellington, and crowned Pumpkin Queen of Halloween Town. However, being Pumpkin Queen isn’t as easy as Sally imagined. When she discovers a doorway to one of the ancient realms, Sally inadvertently unleashes the long forgotten Sandman on both the holiday and the human worlds. With the Sandman hunting her across the worlds, Sally must find a way to reverse his sleeping spell on everyone before it’s too late. 

Ernshaw hits it out of the park with a much anticipated novel that picks up where Tim Burton’s iconic The Nightmare Before Christmas movie leaves off. Sally, Jack, and all the inhabitants of Halloween Town are just as vibrant and kooky as they are in the movie. The story centers around Sally’s past and how grounding it is to understand where one comes from. As Sally struggles with a feeling of belonging, she constantly compares herself to others until the moment of self-realization that her rag doll self is perfect as is. Taking place over a couple of days, this is a story full of beloved characters, spookiness, and adventure.  

This one’s for fans of Halloween and Tim Burton alike. A light gothic tale aimed at those who enjoyed Disney’s Twisted Tales series or Míriam Bonastre Tur’s webtoon Hooky.

— Emily Walker

Other Nominated Titles

Stinetinglers: All New Stories by the Master of Scary Tales  by R. L. Stine (August 30, 2022)

What We Harvest by Ann Fraistat (March 15, 2022)

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested, it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Blogging Team @ YALSA's The Hub.