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The Crossroads by Chris Grabenstein
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Wow, Chris Grabenstein can write as well for young adults as he does for adults. The Crossroads has a young teen as the main character and his ability to see inside trees to the people who are trapped there is fascinating. Sounds a bit strange but the way it is woven into the life experiences of this young man makes it all totally believable. A ghost story of top caliber. I'll be waiting for the next entry in this series with as much anticipation as I do the entries in the Ceepak series. ( )
  bookswoman | Mar 31, 2013 |
What a treat! Terrific little ghost story with a couple of engaging subplots, packed with gentle humor, action, and enough creepy moments to satisfy young readers, 9 - 12 years of age.

( )
  BluesGal79 | Mar 31, 2013 |
Definitely not what I was hoping for. It's not as creepy as Booklist & SLJ wanted me to believe, for starters. Our main character is supposed to be 11 but reads about 8, and the rest of the characters are straight out of central casting. Brief chapters are probably supposed to increase suspense but instead just break up the story into choppy fragments.

It doesn't really go out in my library, and now I know why. ( )
  librarybrandy | Mar 31, 2013 |
This YA book is a ghost story, and it's fairly spooky.
But it's also a self-realization story, and a very good one, at that.

The town of North Chester has an unhappy history. In 1958, there was a bus accident at the edge of town, and 41 people were killed, including the bus driver, the driver of the car that hit the bus, and a local policeman.

The only bus passenger who survived the accident was Mary O'Claire, who is now in a nursing home in North Chester, and is looked after by her grandson Billy, a plumber.

Gerda Spratling is the last survivor of the family whose business, Spratling Clockworks Factory, supported the town in its infancy.

Zack Jennings is 11 years old. His mother died of cancer, for which she blamed him. She said she had to smoke so she wouldn't have to think about what a rotten kid he was.

We meet him just before the wedding of his father, George, to children's book author Judy Magruder. After the wedding and family honeymoon, they move to the small Connecticut town where George grew up. That's right, North Chester.

Zack meets a boy his own age named Davy, and they become good friends. Zack has never really had a close friend before; he always felt he didn't deserve one. Davy, though, keeps complaining about a shrine old Miss Spratling built around a large oak tree in the Jennings' back yard, and tries to convince Zack to destroy it.

Judy encounters Miss Spratling paying a visit to her descanso, becomes intrigued by the story and begins to research it. George Jennings goes away on business.

The 50th anniversary of the bus accident approaches, and all the elements are in place for something big to happen.

Chris Grabenstein was kind enough to send me this book ages ago. I read the first chapter and set it aside, because seemed too scary that evening. I came across it again recently, decided to give it another try (a sunny afternoon helped), and finished it in a couple of hours.
My apologies to Chris for taking so long to read and comment on his very fine book! ( )
  Marlyn | Feb 12, 2010 |
It's about a guy trying to kill a boy but the guy's soul is stuck in a tree. The guy can go into people that are related to him. It was kind of schi-fi, killer, fantasy. I just liked it. AHS/AE
  edspicer | Oct 15, 2009 |
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For Meghan, Sam & Rachel
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Have you ever seen a face hidden in the bark of a tree and known that the man trapped inside wanted to hurt you?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375846972, Hardcover)

ZACK, HIS DAD, and new stepmother have just moved back to his father’s hometown, not knowing that their new house has a dark history. Fifty years ago, a crazed killer caused an accident at the nearby crossroads that took 40 innocent lives. He died when his car hit a tree in a fiery crash, and his malevolent spirit has inhabited the tree ever since. During a huge storm, lightning hits the tree, releasing the spirit, who decides his evil spree isn’t over . . . and Zack is directly in his sights.

Award-winning thriller author Chris Grabenstein fills his first book for younger readers with the same humorous and spine-tingling storytelling that has made him a fast favorite with adults.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:32 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

When eleven-year-old Zack Jennings moves to Connecticut with his father and new stepmother, they must deal with the ghosts left behind by a terrible accident, as well as another kind of ghost from Zack's past.

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