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The Hanging Hill by Chris Grabenstein
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The Hanging Hill

by Chris Grabenstein

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So, how is it that one author can write so well to two different audiences and carry it off so well? I'm always boggled by an author who writes really well - but those (and there are many) who can do it for more than one series just amaze me.

This is the second in the YA series with Zack, his step-mother Judy and the problems they have with ghosts. This time Judy and Zack have traveled to the Hanging Hill Playhouse to produce one of Judy's books as a musical. This is a very old house and, of course, it has its fair share of ghosts. This time Zack is called the demon slayer and will be expected to stop bad (very bad) things from happening.

I seem to be reading a lot about ghosts or demons lately which is very strange because that isn't my normal fair. Still, I'll read anything that Chris Grabenstein writes - just because he writes so well and the story is always entertaining and the characters are so well drawn.

If you haven't started this series yet, don't let the fact that it is written for young adults hold you back, the stories are written for anyone who likes to read and loves a mystery. ( )
  bookswoman | Mar 31, 2013 |
I think this book was good. It had a lot of things going on and it was very adventurous. There is always action.
Hanging Hills is about this little kid who sees ghosts and there not scary to him but there really annoying. His step mom is really nice and she is an author of "courteous cat," and this man is who is a director he directs plays, he is going to direct this book into a play. Later on the director finds out that his great grandfather was a magician that brought back the dead souls. He was very interested about this and he became the new magician. He brings out thieves and they have to listen to him but they can turn on him just like they did to his great grandfather.
The magician is planning a ritual for two kids that are born on the full moon. They must be on a full moon (which the demons call it the blood moon) because on this day the demons can physically move things and they can hurt people, so they become real people again. The magician has to sacrifice (burn them alive on a big golden statue part bull and part human) to kids that were born on the full moon. The magician got rid of the children’s parents by locking them in a coffin. At the end of the book the kids are saved and the parents are fine and the magician was killed by a demon. ( )
  Joslynn | Apr 1, 2011 |
Reason for Reading: The sequel to The Crossroads.

Comments: Zack and his step-mom, a famous children's book author, are spending the summer at the Hanging Hill Theatre where, for the first time, one of her books is being turned into a musical. The Theatre has been around for well near a century while both the building and the land have quite a chequered past. So it comes to no surprise to Zack when he starts to see the occasional ghost. But when the ghosts start talking of demons and Zack meets ghosts with bloody weapons who can affect things in this world he starts to take notice. Before long he's racing against time to save the life of a sacrificial child and several others taking part in the play.

This was fabulous! One exciting read that never stops from start to finish. So much better than its predecessor. I had some problems with The Crossroads and the author has not repeated those concerns making The Hanging Hill a phenomenal horror story for the middle grades. The story does have its bloody bits and some gruesome descriptions so I wouldn't recommend it for the squeamish but nothing is overboard and certainly acceptable for this age group in my (conservative) opinion.

The chapters are very short making it hard to put the book down. The characters are an eccentric lot making for a fun story while Zack and the other couple of main characters are down to earth, likable, characters with real dialogue. I'm recommending this for ages 10-14, though I rarely give an ending age, I feel that teens will find the characters young, even though no age is given this time around, the children are obviously middle graders, and anyone under ten I feel would find the horror parts a bit to much, unless they are used to that sort of thing.

A great read! I was hooked from the beginning and am hoping this is not just a sequel but will continue as a series. I'd love to follow Zack and Judy on another ghostly adventure!

http://back-to-books.blogspot.com/ ( )
  ElizaJane | Sep 3, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375846999, Hardcover)

How serious is stage fright? At the Hanging Hill Playhouse, it can kill you.

After narrowly escaping a malevolent spirit in The Crossroads, Zack and Judy are hoping to relax during the rehearsals for a show based on Judy’s bestselling children’s books. Little do they know that the director is planning to raise a horde of evil specters from the dead, and to accomplish this, he needs a human sacrifice . . . and Zack fits the bill perfectly.

This second book featuring the intrepid Zack and his stepmother, Judy, is full of the same humorous and spine-tingling storytelling that has made Chris Grabenstein a fast favorite with young and old alike.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:44 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

While working at a summer stock theater, eleven-year-old Zack and his stepmother encounter the ghost of one of Connecticut's most notorious criminals.

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