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Dead Boy by Laurel Gale
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Dead Boy

by Laurel Gale

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Dead Boy is a dark fantasy that draws attention to a variety of themes. Crow, our main character, is un-dead. He lives with his divorced mother, Mrs. Darlingson and she is very protective over him. Crow is not allowed outside in fear of being discovered and taken to a lab etc. He can only go out on Halloween. Crow is very lonely until a girl his age, Melody, moves in. They sneak every night to his back yard to hangout and she eventually learns he is dead. She still wants to be his friend in hopes his magic will teach her what happened to her missing mother. They venture off one night and discover a horrific beast. They both get into trouble with their parents and aren't allowed to see ea. other. Crow is suspicious of his mother's relation to his resurrection and her connection to the beast at the park. Mrs. Darlingson becomes even more protective and Crow's father is not happy with her. On Halloween, Crow goes against his mother's wishes and him and Melody go to the beast to get their wishes. Crow uses his for good while Melody uses her wish for something selfish. Eventually, other kids, who were previous friends of Crow and Melody, come along for the adventure. In the end everyone is okay and they destroy the beast. Crow is finally alive and continue his life with his new friends as a normal child.
I think this book is appropriate for a fifth grade and above level because of the use of some harder vocabulary like cacophony. This definitely teaches how being selfish can lead to bad things. It also ties in a very cliche saying of "be careful what you wish for". It also addresses things like bullying and dealing with parent issues like divorce and separation. Laurel Gale brings these topics to life in this book about a dead child. I think this is a good read for pre-teens who have interest in adventure and magic and fantasy. ( )
  imasson | Aug 25, 2016 |
When I first heard of Dead Boy, by Laurel Gale, I thought it would be one of those comical stories that would be a little gross and a lot of funny! Oh no, this story is dark, gross and funny. I am so happy I didn't wait to read it with my son. I don't think, even at 12 years old, that he'd have liked it. Me- I loved it! It was different. It's YA, but can be enjoyed by any age. This story was put together with a magical imagination that has you feeling bad, mad, angry and extremely hopeful for a little, dead boy!

The story is about a boy named Crow. He's dead. He's stuck in his house, day in and day out, because the world outside wouldn't understand him. He's lonely. His mother homeschool's him, and does her best to hold to a sense of normalcy. He's a non brain-eating zombie. Actually he east nothing at all, since he no longer has any taste buds and because of what food does to his stomach.

It's not until he meets Melody that he truly craves for more in life! He wants to be outside more and do more and feel more- so he takes a chance on Halloween night. He does something that takes them on an adventure, unlike any other. And you want him to succeed. You find yourself hoping for him.

The story was written with such an elegant simplicity, it can be read by anyone.
Rating: 👓👓👓👓out of 5 specs
*The Pug List is next!
**Book is from my personal library, for an honest review.​
http://tinyurl.com/hn2693f ( )
  AReneeHunt | Aug 24, 2016 |
Crow Darlingson is dead but appears to be alive. I would not consider him a zombie because he can walk, talk, grow, do school work but not eat or sleep. Crow's parts fall off or split, but his mom sews him back together. He stinks because he is rotting and maggots crawl out of him so he is not allowed to leave the house. His parents have separated yet Crow still sees his dad every once in a while. Apparently, Crow died when he was in the fourth grade and somehow, his parents wished him back to life, but the wish did not bring him back as a living, breathing, warm-blooded human.

One day as Crow was watching out his window, sees people moving in next door. His next door neighbour, Melody, sneaks over the fence one night to meet him. She is fascinated with Crow, especially when she finds out Magic is involved. Her mother disappeared when she was young and she is positive that magic took her away. One night they sneak out and go to the park where they get scared by a monster/creature. On Hallowe'en they end up back at the park and purposely seek out the creature. This takes Crow and Melody on an adventure that will having you holding your breath at times! It is creepy and scary and they learn lessons along the way. Will they pass the test and get their wishes?

This is a story about how difficult it can be to be yourself regardless of the situation you are in. It teaches about loyalty, unselfishness as well as having to stand up for yourself. I enjoyed the gentle creepiness of the book describing Crow. Don't be scared to read this book! It is a wonderful read and Middle Graders and even Young Adults will enjoy Crow's and Melody's adventures.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Carlathelibrarian | May 8, 2016 |
Below is my review as it appeared in the January, 2016, edition of School Library Journal.

GALE, Laurel. Dead Boy. 5 CDs. 6 hrs. Listening Library. 2015. $35. ISBN 9781101916827. digital download.

Gr 5-7–Crow was once a regular boy who played baseball and had friends and loving parents. But now, he’s dead. At first, being dead wasn’t so bad, but then his rotting flesh began attracting maggots. He couldn’t eat or sleep. His parents divorced. His mother will tell him only that his parents “wished him back to life,” but what kind of life? He’s trapped in a house kept purposefully cold to slow the putrefaction of his flesh. When Melody and her father move in next door, she and Crow become secret friends against the wishes of their parents. Together, they begin to unravel the terrible secret of his parents’ wish. Their forbidden friendship will be tested as they face a series of deadly challenges in their quest for the truth. Though the book’s description promises humor, narrator Robbie Daymond’s presentation of Crow is morose and forlorn. His cheerful portrayal of Melody offers the only break from the macabre atmosphere. VERDICT - Not for the squeamish, this one will be best for middle school fans of ghoulish favorites like The Night Gardener (Abrams, 2014) or The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls (S. & S., 2012). [“A great recommendation to middle grade fans of dark humor”: SLJ 7/15 review of the Crown book.]

Copyright © 2016 Library Journals, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. Reprinted with permission. ( )
  shelf-employed | Jan 17, 2016 |
Almost 4 stars ( )
  mal2012 | Jan 10, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laurel Galeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Tanaka, YokoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553510088, Hardcover)

Fans of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book will embrace this darkly funny and literary debut novel about a dead boy named Crow who has a chance at friendship—and a chance at getting his life back.
 
Crow Darlingson may be dead, but he still loves air hockey, bowling, and drawing. Like other kids, his mother makes sure he finishes his homework, and he always looks forward to Halloween.
 
But Crow Darlingson isn’t like other kids. He stinks. He’s got maggots. His body parts fall off at inopportune moments. And he hasn’t been able to sleep in years. Not since waking up from death.
 
Despite the maggots, Crow is lonely. When Melody Plympton moves in next door, Crow finally has a chance at friendship and a shot at getting his life back from the mysterious wish-granting creature living in the park. But first there are tests to pass. And it means risking the only friend he’s had in years.
 
Debut author Laurel Gale’s story about friendship fulfilled may be the most moving—and most macabre—yet.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 14 Apr 2015 21:34:45 -0400)

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