Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sleepy or Creepy?

The choice is this: go to sleep at a decent hour and finish the book tomorrow, or keep turning pages until the villain is uncovered or caught or the mystery is solved or the things that go bump are explained. Usually, in my arguments with myself, creepy wins. I have to know how it ends. NOW.

SHADOWED SUMMER by Saundra Mitchell, Delacorte Press, 2009

Here is the summary from the book jacket: In the small town of Ondine, LA, 14 year old Iris uncovers family secrets when she conjures up the ghost of a boy missing for decades and decides to solve the mystery of his disappearance.

Yes, there is conjuring and not everyone is comfortable with the effects of dabbling in the dark arts. So be advised. However, the voices of the main character and her best friend are authentic and their boredom in the small town, which they vow to leave as soon as they get their drivers’ licenses, will resonate with a teen reader.

The author is a screenwriter, and it shows. Imagine what ghostly antics can do for a muggy summer in a town of 349 people that’s not more than a supper stop between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. This was a finalist for the Edgar for Young Adult novels. It’s easy to see why.

It’s likely that girls rather than guys will opt to lose sleep over this one.

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