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The Black Heart Crypt by Chris Grabenstein
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The Black Heart Crypt (2011)

by Chris Grabenstein

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The story begins with Zack a twelve year old boy playing catch with a shiny yellow ball with his dog Zipper. Zipper picked up another dogs scent and bolted to find it which led them into a grave yard. The dog they were chasing wasn’t a normal dog it was a huge black dog with glowing red eyes. The dog led them into a cemetery which wasn’t the best place to be three nights before Halloween, the only day ghost were able to roam the earth. Zack had an unusual ability, he was able to see the dead and speak to them. He got it from his father although his father lost his at the age of twelve. Occasionally it would come back in times of dire need.
As Halloween got closer ghost were haunting Zack’s dreams because they knew of his ability to see them. Zack and his family and friends went to a corn maze to pick out pumpkins to carve for Halloween. A ghost popped out when he was doing the maze with his friend. The ghost was Mad Dog Murphy a crime boss that got killed in the electric chair. When Mad Dog popped up he still had the electric chair helmet sizzling on his head. The children soon ran out of the maze running through corn. When they made it out of the maze they promised to not tell Zack’s parents or he would have gotten locked in his room until he turned thirteen.
As it got closer to Halloween Zack’s father called his three aunts to visit them because they helped his dad get rid of ability to see ghosts. When they arrived the three aunts had to get many things from an old age store that was long forgotten to help him with seeing the dead. On the day of Halloween there was a special guard dog to watch over the good souls in the grave yard. There was a heart lock on the door of the cemetery then the spell broke and ghosts came through the crypt. Then Jack the Lantern a ghost that possessed a local man and was more powerful than he ever was attacked Zack. They defeated the ghost with the help of the Zack’s three aunts. They were the ones that locked the ghost away the first time.
This story was very confusing at first but at the end everything was understandable. The Black Heart Crypt is not only a children’s book but it can also entertain older ages. The reason I really liked this book was because it has action and a good storyline. I would recommend this book to people that like action and adventure. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone who doesn’t like ghost or zombies. Overall I would rate this book at five out of five stars. ( )
  DonteR.B4 | Jan 9, 2014 |
Zach, Zipper, Judy, Malik and Azalea plan to have a lot of fun on Halloween but the long dead Ickleby's have something more deadly in mind. A cast of 12 evil souls are out to get Zach because his great-aunts managed to chain their souls, keeping them locked up in a crypt.

There are a lot of fun Halloween lore tidbits thrown into this one, as well as some more about ghosts and souls.

The great-aunts are wonderful characters and have a lot to do with the progression of the story. Judy is in full protective mode over Zach but no one is prepared for the true evil that was unleashed on Halloween.

I loved the fact the Grabenstein resisted the impulse to make the whole story revolve around Halloween but instead had things happen for at least a couple of days after that spooky day.

This is a fun series, even if it is aimed at middle-school aged children, anyone who likes a good story would love this series. ( )
  bookswoman | Sep 14, 2013 |
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For J.J. Myers, who is the love of my life and, hopefully, my afterlife
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 037586900X, Hardcover)

Halloween is nearing, the one day of the year when the ghostly plane is close enough to the human plane to allow mischief and mayhem. But the ghosts who have their eye on Zack aren't thinking mischief, they are thinking murder.

In this fourth volume of Chris Grabenstein's popular Haunted Mysteries series, Zack must once again do battle with malevolent spirits. And with his usual pluck, and the assistance of three dotty aunts, he must save his town from a 200-year-old threat.

Once again Chris Grabenstein proves his mastery of the frightening and funny tale. Young readers, especially reluctant ones, have found an inspiration to read in Grabenstein's quirky characters and deadly situations.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:51 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A 200-year-old ghost inhabits a living ancestor in order to take revenge on eleven-year-old Zack and his family.

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