Skeleton Creek

cover image for Skeleton CreekCarman, P. (2009)  Skeleton Creek.  New York, NY: Scholastic

Review:

Ryan McCray is stuck in his room, courtesy of a monster sized cast, with nothing but nightmares, his journal, and illicit messages from his friend Sarah Fincher to keep him company.  Ryan and Sarah’s parents have forbidden them to contact each other in the aftermath of the accident at the abandoned dredge that left Ryan nearly dead, but Ryan and Sarah have been best friends for forever.  Besides, Sarah has footage from that night – and it looks like it might have been more than just shadows and aging wood that caused him to fall.

This book was Scary with a capital S.  Heck, this book was SCARY and CREEPY as…um…heck?    Sarah’s vids – which are accessed at a website via passwords scattered throughout the book – was a big part of why, but the book itself wasn’t exactly unscary.  Unlike your typical horror movie though, there was plenty of breathing room in between the truly scary parts, which is what makes it just the right amount of scary for older tweens

While it might seem like this is only a gimmick book, it’s also a well-crafted story with a mystery that’s gets even more interesting as things move along, and both the journal and the vids felt fairly genuine.  It’s not just a good series for reluctant readers, it’s a great series period.  Especially with the cliffhanger ending, it was very hard to not run out and read the rest of the trilogy instead of making sure I was reading a variety of types of books. This series is on the top of my list of series to finish.

My only worry is that kids that don’t have easy access to the internet 24/7 may have difficulty following the story and vids in order, which would be rather like trying to read chapters out of order.

Best for ages 11-15

Sarah’s website: http://www.sarahfincher.com/

Series website: http://www.scholastic.com/skeletoncreek

Author website: http://www.patrickcarman.com/

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