The Beasties

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The Beasties
Author William Sleator
Cover artist Wendy Feldheim
Country United States
Language English
Subject Horror
Genre Young adult fiction
Publisher Dutton Children's Books
Published October 1997
Pages 198
ISBN 9780525455981
OCLC 36372376

The Beasties is a 1997 young adult horror novel by author William Sleator. The Beasties, along with Sleator's other books typically deal with adolescents coming across a peculiar phenomenon related to an element of theoretical science, then trying to deal with the situation. The theme of family relationships, especially between siblings, is frequently intertwined with the plotline. The Beasties has since been reprinted by both Penguin and Puffin Books.


The nightmare begins when fifteen-year-old Doug and his family move to a desolate northern forested wilderness. Soon he and his ten-year-old sister, Colette, become caught up in a war between the area's loggers and a dying race of weird woodland creatures who depend on human body parts for their survival. The beasties are forest-dwelling ghouls who remove the arms and legs of their victims, and move through human society via a system of tunnels leading everywhere, even right into Doug and Colette's basement. Skeptical Doug doesn't buy it at first, even if an unusual number of the local inhabitants seem to be missing important pieces of their anatomies. But once he and his sister stumble into a cavernous opening and meet the Beastie scout named Fingers, Doug is forced to become a believer. Colette soon is indoctrinated into the society of the Family, an underground civilization of slimy, pale beings with crudely stitched-together body parts. Doug desperately hopes to remain an outsider, but it seems he has no choice. In fact, the Family needs him to make the biggest sacrifice of all.