The Sacrifice Box by Martin Stewart

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Recommended by Alison Lister (@AlisonLister)

Form and genre: prose, gothic/horror

Length: 368 pages

Summary: When five friends decide to each make a sacrifice of something special to an ancient stone box hidden in the forest, they make a pact. They will never return to the box at night; visit it alone; or take back their offerings.

Four years later, someone has broken the rules.

Age recommendation and challenging content: Some animal cruelty. Family bereavement. Year 8.

Notable reasons for recommending this book: This is an atmospheric, chilling and pacy novel drawing on all the gothic and horror genre tropes. It frightened me in places (as an adult) but in a thrilling “what on earth will happen next” kind of way. It would fit in with any novel study unit at KS3 and/or as a recommended wider reading. Flashbacks, point of view chapters from variety of characters.