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Dripping Blood Cave and Other Ghostly Stories Paperback – October 5, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-7-Hank Cantrell and his "not-quite-trusty" sidekick, Clifford Hopkins, team up again in these stories set in the mid-century Midwest. Spurred by the tales told by town historian Jarvis Satterly at the "liars' bench," the boys investigate supernatural occurrences in and around their hometown. Historical details become the backdrop to the ghostly encounters, including a group of undead Native Americans, a moonshine distiller, and an otherworldly doctor still looking to make house calls. Throughout these stories, Hank is the cool-headed hero, managing to settle the souls of the restless dead and protect their girlfriends, while his pal either passes out or runs away. Bial's continuation of this series seems to miss the mark. The characters are exaggerated stereotypes of rural community members. Although the historical information woven into the text could be intriguing, the neatness with which each plotline is resolved works against the story as a whole. Readers looking for an enticing mystery series would do better to look elsewhere.-Colleen S. Banick, Tomlinson Middle School, Fairfield, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

About the Author

Ray Bial is the acclaimed author of more than 100 books for children and adults, including many historical photodocumentary books such as Amish Home, The Underground Railroad, Where Lincoln Walked, Nauvoo, Ellis Island, and others. His previous ghost stories include The Fresh Grave, The Ghost of Honeymoon Creek, and Shadow Island. He lives in Urbana, Illinois.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Crickhollow Books (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933987138
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933987132
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,477,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Author and photographer Raymond Bial (pronounced beal) has been creating acclaimed books for children and adults for more than thirty years. His books have been published by Houghton Mifflin, Scholastic, Walker & Company, Marshall Cavendish, Crickhollow Books, and other fine publishers and university presses. Raymond also makes images on assignment, and his stock photographs have been used by book publishers such as National Geographic, advertising agencies such as Leo Burnett, and media such as PBS.

Raymond's most recent books are Ellis Island: Coming to the Land of Liberty, which is an excellent companion volume to Tenement: Immigrant Life on the Lower East Side; The Shaker Village, a lovely collection of color photographs depicting the simplicity and grace of this remarkable utopian community; a lovely paperback edition of Where Lincoln Walked published in honor of the bicentennial of the birth of this great president; Dripping Blood Cave and Other Ghostly Stories, the third volume in a popular series of ghost stories for young readers; and Rescuing Rover: Saving America's Dogs, which has been selected for the Junior Literary Guild Book Club. Rescuing Rover is currently receiving high praise across the country.

Chigger, his most recent novel, is receiving fine reviews from readers, young and old alike. Anyone who likes to root for the underdog will love this sweet story of an unforgettable girl.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It's annoying when you can't go a week without encountering more ghosts. "Dripping Blood Cave & Other Ghostly Stories" is a fascinating collection of mysteries and ghost stories as young teenager Hank Cantrell and his comrade Clifford Hopkins face off against waves of lost souls who depend on Hank to find a way to let them move on with their deaths. "Dripping Blood Cave & Other Ghostly Stories" is a fun collection, and not one to be missed.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Varnell County in Indiana has some of the greatest ghost detectives in the Midwest. Teenagers Hank Cantrell and his ‘fraidy-cat sidekick Clifford Hopkins team up in eight short stories to solve the mysteries of haunted locations in their town. Led by the guidance of historian Mr. Satterly, the boys and their girlfriends, Rosie and Mary Ethel, learn a thing or two about Midwestern history while helping a series of ghosts and ghouls find some peace.

In each short story, Clifford offers to visit the haunted location, lugging his friend along, much to Hank’s dismay in most cases. Once he gets there however, Clifford changes his mind about going gung-ho into the investigation because he is not as brave as he may have thought. He hilariously tries to pass off being scared as giving his friends chances to be the hero.

The ghostly figures the boys encounter usually are not so scary after all, but are either looking for some sort of help in finding their way to rest or to avoid another more evil spooky spirit. However, Hank usually ends up doing all the work while Clifford passes out or hides in fear from each ghostly figure. In the end, Clifford always tries to pass the triumph off as his own, earning a groan and a few laughs from his comrades.

The history is rich in Varnell County, and each mystery has a haunting based on a historical event or object associated with it. For instance, Dripping Blood Cave is based on history from decades of Native American life in the Midwest; while Outlaw Island lets the boys meet some Confederate soldiers from the Civil War. Other events focused on in the stories are the Underground Railroad, Prohibition, and Custer’s Last Stand at Little Bighorn.
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