Summer of Night by Dan Simmons is a long book. But so worth turning every one of those pages.
The story begins in 1960 with an elementary school eating one of the students. Things rapidly go downhill from there. By the end of the novel, several (I lost count) people are dead, including main characters.
At the heart of this story is the fundamental difference between children and adults. Children believe. In the boogeyman, the monster under the bed, and things that go bump in the night. So really it makes perfect sense that they would be the first to detect if something was truly wrong in the world. Since they would be unable to convince grown-ups that the scary things are real, they would have to defeat them without help from adults. And they do.
That doesn't mean that the adults in this story are any less important or significant. They're just different. Simmons does an amazing job of giving a richness to both the kids and the adults he wrote into this story. My favorite adult- the alcoholic inventor who invented the answering machine (among other things) but then never followed through to cash in on his inventions.
Read this. Then check under your bed and in your closet before you go to sleep...