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Don't Close Your Eyes!: Mostly Ghostly    by R. L. Stine order for
Don't Close Your Eyes!
by R. L. Stine
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

There are ghosts stories, then there those that stand out above the norm, and Stine's Mostly Ghostly haunts are among the best. In Don't Close Your Eyes!, Stine has Max Doyle in a dither - literally, poor Max gets no rest! His 'eyeballs burn', his 'head feels like a granite boulder', and his 'tongue feels like it is growing fur!' After all, he hasn't slept for more than forty-eight hours, and that's just a portion of his ghostmare.

You see, ghosts Nicky and Tara live in Max's house (they're only visible to Brainimon Max). The Inkweed episode started while Tara was reading a book about the supernatural world. She dropped the book, its ink formed a blob, and, voila, the evil Inkweed came to life. That is, the black-ink ghost floated into Max, taking control of his body, ink dripping from his nose and sometimes spewing out of his mouth. Tara's brainstorm is for Max to google Inkweed on the computer, but when Max begins to type, it's really Inkweed doing the job. From his fingers comes a message: 'I know who you are, Nicky and Tara Roland. As soon as I escape this body, I will cover all three of you in my inky blackness. Once this boy's body falls asleep, I come alive! And all three of you will sleep forever!' Tara's next words don't really help the situation much, 'We have to keep you awake, Max. We can't let you fall asleep until we find a way to send Inkweed back where he came from.' Oh, my! is Max destined to stay awake forever?

Max, Nicky, and Tara visit the 'Library of the Spiritual World', where Tara found the supernatural book. Max approaches the librarian, Ms Sumner Park, asking about a particular ghost (Inkweed). Ms. Park panics; she knows all about Inkweed, as her dad told her stories when she was a kid, frightening stories about the ghost that 'can cover people in darkness'. Can her dad help Max? Mr. Park's solution involves darkness in the darkest night. Now, where will the darkest place be found?

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