Booktalk: Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Asylum cover

When you pick up Asylum and flip through the pages, you can’t help but notice its visual style.  That’s because, like its popular predecessor Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, creepy old (or old-looking) photographs are incorporated into the text.  In this book, Madeleine Roux has created a frightening story about ordinary teens who are trapped in extraordinary circumstances.  The photographs taken in actual asylums simply add to the mood and make this book even more memorable.


The teenagers who show up at the New Hampshire College Prep program think that they’re going to have a life-changing experience this summer.  But when they show up at the school, they discover that the dorm where they will be living for the summer is a very old building that was once used as an asylum for the criminally insane.  And that’s when the idea of a life-changing experience starts to feel a little creepy.

When Dan gets to his dorm room and starts to unpack, he opens one of the drawers and inside that drawer he finds an old photograph of a man’s face.  The photograph is old and faded, and the man looks very stern and serious.  But the scariest thing about the photograph is that someone has completely scratched out the man’s eyes.

When Dan shows the picture to his roommate, his roommate says that he doesn’t know where the picture came from … but that there are lots of pictures and papers in the old warden’s office downstairs.  When Dan and his friends, Abby and Jordan, decide to go downstairs and start exploring in the old warden’s office, they’re going to discover that this building is holding more secrets than they ever imagined … and that some of the asylum’s residents aren’t quite as dead as everyone believes.

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