written by Marina Cohen
Dundurn Press, 2009
978-1-55488-438-4 (pb) $12.99 for Grades 7 and up
Fourteen-year-old Sam McLean is none too happy about moving to an old mansion on the fringe of his dad's old hometown. Desperate to be accepted by the cool kids, he latches on to Cody Barns, who's known for performing wild stunts and then posting them on his blog. When Sam reluctantly participates in one of Cody's ghost riding stunts, something goes terribly wrong. Soon after the accident, mysterious messages start appearing on Cody's blog, and Sam is faced with a terrifying question: Who knows the truth about what happened that night?
This spooky new story by Marina Cohen--loosely tied in with The Legend of Sleepy Hollow--will grab readers from the beginning, and keep them hooked until the surprise twist ending. The town of Ringwood is a perfect setting for a ghost story, and it is more than fitting that the neighbourhood is referred to as Sleepy Hollow. There always seems to be something not quite right that Sam can't put his finger on, and a creepy cast of supporting characters such as the odd neighbour boy and the old lady across the street contribute to the atmosphere in the town. Sam is a likeable and authentic character, and readers will completely identify with his desire to fit in, and his frustrations with his parents. Sam is also a thoroughly modern teenager, and his dependence on his cell phone and the internet will ring true with readers.
Reluctant boy readers especially will find this an enjoyable read.
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|Title Annotation:||We Recommend|
|Publication:||Canadian Children's Book News|
|Article Type:||Book review|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2010|
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