A yellow box. A hardcover book titled "Gloom Town" lays on top of it. Surrounding the book and box are 3 other boxes in shades of yellow and grey, in addition to a book sticker, bookmark, coloring sheet, and informational flyer. All gift boxes are labeled with page numbers.
A yellow box. A hardcover book titled "Gloom Town" stands on top of it. Surrounding the book and box are 3 other boxes in shades of yellow and grey. All gift boxes are labeled with page numbers.

Shadows by the Sea - Full Box

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Experience the December 2023 Middle Grade box featuring Gloom Town by Ronald L. Smith plus THREE perfect gifts to bring this eerie read to life!

A delightfully creepy novel from a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award winner imbued with magic and seafaring mythology. Lemony Snicket and Jessica Townsend meet Greenglass House, with a hint of Edward Gorey thrown in.

When twelve-year-old Rory applies for a job at a spooky old mansion in his gloomy seaside town, he finds the owner, Lord Foxglove, odd and unpleasant. But he and his mom need the money, so he takes the job anyway. Rory soon finds out that his new boss is not just strange, he’s not even human—and he’s trying to steal the townspeople’s shadows. Together, Rory and his friend Isabella set out to uncover exactly what Foxglove and his otherworldly accomplices are planning and devise a strategy to defeat them. But can two kids defeat a group of ancient evil beings who are determined to take over the world?

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Book Clubber Testimonials

★★★★★

I love Once Upon a Book Club. Each month offers a book with a collection of gifts that bring the words on the pages to life. My collection is growing and I even had to purchased new book shelves. I love the boxes!

Mitzi V.
Lake Charles, LA
★★★★★

Once Upon a Book Club is a reader’s delight. The concept of this book box is so unique, it combines your love of reading with the joy opening presents.

Darrie D.
Oceanside, NY
★★★★★

The gifts truly bring the story to life and perfectly match what’s happening in the story. For example-the main character might have gotten a bracelet from her best friend in the story. And then you get that bracelet as a gift! It’s so fun because it’s an immersive experience.

Monique B.
Elmhurst, IL

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