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The Return of Skeleton Man Hardcover – July 25, 2006
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-8–Molly and her parents are still trying to find a sense of normalcy after the events of Bruchac's heart-pounding Skeleton Man (HarperCollins, 2001). Here, they're off on a vacation to the Mohonk Mountain House in the Hudson Valley. Skeleton Man is presumed dead, but, as the family settles in, Molly starts seeing small signs that perhaps he's still pursuing them. As in the first book, the preteen protagonist tells her story in the first-person present, a device that keeps the narrative moving but is awkward in passages in which she provides extended backstory or attempts to analyze her feelings in real time. The book relies on a sense of menace that's never fully realized. Molly's fears are vague until Skeleton Man makes his appearance three quarters of the way through the book, and then he proves surprisingly easy to defeat. Even so, this engaging and fast-paced sequel to a modern horror classic will be in demand.–Adrienne Furness, Webster Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Even readers unfamiliar with the popular horror story Skeleton Man (2001) will have no problem understanding this sequel. Molly, the contemporary Mohawk protagonist of the earlier book, is haunted by her memories of what happened when the skeleton monster kidnapped her and her parents. Now the teenager is at a huge, fancy lodge in upper New York State, where her father is attending a business conference, and Skeleton Man is after them again, in the dark corridors and along the trails. Molly narrates the story, which blends Mohawk tradition and legend with contemporary details ("Indian telepathy is O.K," but Molly also needs her cell phone and drives a bulldozer) as it follows Molly's struggle to rout the monster yet again. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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And then I read it.
The Return of Skeleton Man fails in comparison to its first installment. For the first half of the book, Molly basically recounts her story from the first novel telling the reader over and over what they probably already know of the story. I found that her parents, not kidnapped this time by Skeleton Man, did not add to the story in the least.
Finally, when Skeleton Man made his appearance in the last third of the book, it was anticlimactic. The basic running through the woods away form the bad guy hit its peak with a lackluster showdown in the woods.
I do still like the fact that Molly shows a strong female character and role model for children. She uses her brain and faith to overcome obstacles, but this second installment of the series (I am assuming there will be another one, even after the author bashes horror movie series that showcase a mythical and invincible antagonist) falls short of expectations.