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The Crossroads by Chris Grabenstein
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Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
I enjoyed the creepiness of this ghost story, as well as the friendship of the the boys. The story has a surprising amount of depth - in addition to the numerous ghosts filling the town, Zack is also haunted by the memory of his dead mother. As he comes to terms with the haunted mystery, he also comes to terms with his personal ghost. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
This is a spooky story that I expect middle grade kids to really enjoy. In fact, I'm surprised that it isn't more well known, because I know a lot of kids who love scary stories. I personally liked it much better than Grabenstein's Lemoncello books. It kind of a reminded me of those ghost stories from childhood about the ghost who roams the night carrying a lantern trying to avenge it's death.

I have to admit that it's kind of convoluted story. There are many characters to keep up with and how they are all related. Zack, his dad, and his new stepmother have moved back to his dad's hometown. Turns out his dad has a connection to a tragic bus accident that happened back in the 1950s. A bus and truck collided at an intersection known as the crossroads, killing the driver of the truck and nearly everyone on the bus. Now there are ghosts that roam the crossroads at night, unable to rest. All the ghosts are harmless except one, the driver of the truck. He was chasing down his wife on the bus to stop her from interfering in his plans to illegally marry a wealthy woman.

Zack's family has bought a new house near that crossroads. In fact the haunted tree that the truck driver hit so many years ago, is on their property. A spiteful, mean old woman brings flowers to the tree every Monday. His dad has the tree cut down, which ignites the fury of the ghost and old woman Spratling. The ghost is out to avenge every descendent of everyone that did him wrong, including Zack's family. Zack and his new friend are determined to help get rid of the tree stump in the hopes that it will send the horrible ghost on its way.

As in many books, the ending gets rushed with a lot of stuff happening, as all the pieces come together. My favorite part is the slow build up as we learn about all the characters and how they are connected. I especially like Zack's friend Davis who calls his Pardner. Hmmm. Not too many people in today's world talking like that. Is that a clue? ( )
  valorrmac | May 15, 2018 |
Fun faced pace book about ghosts. Mixed in a few laughs also. ( )
  CSDaley | Mar 28, 2018 |
I LOVED this book!! Good fast read with some awesome twists and turns. Fast read too - literally read this in 1 day. ( )
  pickleroad | Nov 10, 2016 |
because of GR Amy's review... and because I'm in the mood for something different...
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Well that was a kick. ?Get this - I don't normally like thrillers, mystery, horror, or dark paranormal. ?áI also seldom read a series beyond the first book (even if it ends incompletely, which this did not). ?áAnd yet, I had trouble putting this down to cook dinner, was sad when it was over, and am seriously considering looking for the sequel.
I don't even generally like fast-paced books that are written by ppl who are fans of/writers for screen media... and this read like that, and I enjoyed it!

I think the strengths of this are that the author knows his characters well. ?áThe story dominates, but even the most iconographic bad guys have a bit extra complication in their backstory, and a spark of vibrancy that made me feel like I was at the crossroads with Zack having these adventures. ?áThe author was careful not to take the easy way out, ever. For example, Dad is a lawyer - but he does make time to do fun things with Zack. ?áThe rules of the afterlife were plausible, carefully thought-out, and adhered to consistently. ?áEtc. ?áThere are even a few discuss-able themes here, for example about facing bullies and coping with loss.

Highly recommended to fans of adventure of any age. ?áEven those to young to read it comfortably would probably be ok with listening to you read it to them as a family thing. ?áAnd I'm recommending it to my husband the Dean Koontz fan. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
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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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