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One of Hanna’s Christmas presents this years was a recently-published graphic novel, Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft, written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez. She read it over vacation and handed it off to me with instructions not to read it just before bed. The injunction was well-advised. Welcome to Lovecraft is creepy. It’s one of those graphic novels most decidedly not for written for young children, despite the fact that its main characters are three siblings: Bode (the canny elementary-school-age youngest brother), Kinsey (dreadlock-sporting middle sister with an enviable record in track), and Tyler, the moody eldest son. The story opens with a homicide and only gets bloodier from there — at the same time as our characters are becoming acquainted with the more supernatural elements of the family’s Gothic mansion in Lovecraft, Massachusetts. Yet the characters and the family secrets that lie at the core of the mystery make the story compelling beyond a simple “who’s going to bite the dust next?” I’m definitely looking forward to volume two.

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