The Crossroads (A Haunted Mystery) Paperback – May 12, 2009
|New from||Used from|
Inspire a love of reading with Amazon Book Box for Kids
Discover delightful children's books with Amazon Book Box, a subscription that delivers new books every 1, 2, or 3 months — new Amazon Book Box Prime customers receive 15% off your first box. Sign up now
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
"An absorbing psychological thriller . . . as well as a rip-roaring ghost story."
About the Author
- Publisher : Yearling; Reissue edition (May 12, 2009)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 329 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0375846980
- ISBN-13 : 978-0375846984
- Reading age : 8 - 12 years
- Lexile measure : 620L
- Grade level : 3 - 7
- Item Weight : 8.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.19 x 0.82 x 7.63 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #398,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"A timely novel highlighting the worth and delicate nature of Nature itself." -Delia Owens Learn more
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
There's nothing boring about this book. It starts off with a bang and keeps the hits coming as the young hero and his stepmom untangle all the intricacies of the supernatural mystery that lies at the heart of this book. There are some deaths that occur during the unveiling of the tale, and some genuinely creepy twists and turns, so this isn't an entirely bloodless read.
The eleven year old hero, Zack, is a great kid that young readers and the parents of young readers will enjoy. He's a fun, shy kid with hang-ups that a lot of young readers will empathize with. The bits and pieces when he hears his dead mother talking to him sarcastically hurt and will win over readers.
The most surprising character in the book is Judy, Zack's stepmom. Usually the adults in a juvenile novel take backstage to the action, but Judy stays right at the heart of it and often tripped across reveals all on her own. In fact, Grabenstein uses Judy to build up all the suspense and tension that surrounds Zack.
Other characters step on stage as well, including Gerda Spratling, the weird old widow that maintains a grave marker at the crossroads where her fiancé was killed. She evokes sympathy at first, but Grabenstein twists and warps her to expose the darkness within.
The story's pacing is excellent. Short, bite-sized chapters create a momentum from page one that sweeps the reader through the narrative. This would be a perfect read-aloud book for teachers to share in the classroom, or to read to your kids at night. I'm planning to take this one to read to my twelve year old the next time we go camping because it's a perfect ghost story for out in the wilds.
Grabenstein has written a sequel detailing more adventures for Zack and Judy. I can't wait to pick up The Hanging Hill and see what happens next.
The titular crossroads is an intersection where a fatal bus crash occurred 50 years earlier, on June 21, 1958. The accident has resulted in an abundance of local ghost legends. At the crossroads is a gigantic oak tree, on the Jennings' property, that's haunted by a malevolent ghost. An unpleasant woman named Gerda Spratling brings fresh roses there every Monday to adorn a roadside memorial to her long-dead fiance, Clint Eberhart.
The book begins with many seemingly separate story lines that are all eventually linked together. There are lots of interesting characters, alive and dead, good and evil, likable and unlikable. Among the likable ones are a boy named Davy, who becomes Zack's first local friend, and the helpful librarian, Mrs. Emerson.
There are quite a number of deaths in this story, and it may possibly be too dark for some young readers, but kids who go in for scary stories will love it. And the darkness is lightened by plenty of humor. I certainly enjoyed this book, and I expect many other grown-ups will too.