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David Stahler Jr.

Author of Truesight

7+ Works 645 Members 34 Reviews

About the Author


Works by David Stahler Jr.

Truesight (2004) 297 copies
Doppelganger (2006) 149 copies
The Seer (2007) 67 copies
Spinning Out (2011) 55 copies
Otherspace (Truesight) (2008) 44 copies
A Gathering of Shades (2005) 31 copies
I Wish I May 2 copies

Associated Works

Half-Minute Horrors (2009) — Contributor — 279 copies


Common Knowledge




“Sixteen year old Aidan’s grandmother has a secret recipe. She feeds ghosts.”

This opening line in the flyleaf description of A Gathering of Shades is what made me take the book home. An old lady who feeds ghosts. What a powerfully creepy image. And I must say that I wasn’t disappointed. This story is one of the better books for teens I’ve read in a long time. Evocative, eerie, and heartbreaking…all at once.

Aidan’s grandmother does indeed feed ghosts, but he doesn’t find out until a few days after he and his mother arrive back at the family homestead in The Kingdom, an area in upper Vermont. After Aidan’s father is killed in a car accident, his mother decides to pull up stakes from the suburbs of Boston and head back home to heal. Aidan, having only visited The Kingdom as a child and having listened to his father talk about how much he hated it when he was growing up, is less than thrilled about the move. He’s uncomfortable around his odd grandmother, but is curious enough about her lengthy after-dinner walks that he follows her one night and discovers her secret. She’s been feeding the ghosts of The Kingdom for years, helping them pass the time until they’re ready to move on. She’s surprised that Aidan can see the ghosts, but seems pleased to have flesh-and-blood company among the ectoplasm, until she figures out that Aidan joins her every evening only because he’s hopeful his father’s ghost will put in an appearance. Aidan spends the better part of the summer chasing his father’s ghost until he finally manages to say goodbye.

There are plenty of messages here, but none are pushed to the point of being annoying. The futility of chasing ghosts, the difficulty of moving on and letting go after a tragedy, the reliving the memories of the dead time and again…all are addressed with lovely, gentle writing. Reading this story is a little like floating down a stream tucked in an inner tube. Give it a try…
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patriciau | 1 other review | Dec 27, 2018 |
Witty and whimsical, I Wish I May by David Stahler, Jr. is a delightful novel-perfect for middle-grade readers drawn to fantasy and humor. A clever combination of the story of Aladdin from The Arabian Nights and The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs, this novel brings these classic tales into a contemporary setting. The main character is Thurston Pickering, a boy whose life experiences should have made him jaded and bitter, but instead have produced a generous and kind-hearted soul. Thurston is a true innocent faced with a cruel world. Either ignored or ridiculed and bullied by everyone around him, Thurston resignedly accepts his outsider role and finds comfort in solitary pleasures. His hobbies include collecting fireflies and readings comic books, quaint pastimes that recall a simpler time. Even his own parents cannot stop arguing long enough to notice his existence. When he opens a captivating jar in his attic, Thurston unexpectedly releases a Jinn that has been captive inside for a century. He is granted wishes from the mischievous genie, and Thurston learns some hard but important lessons about what truly matters in life. Stahler’s narrator is funny and charming, directly addressing the reader and drawing him/her into the tale. I Wish I May would be appropriate for both today's youth and anyone looking to recapture some of its magic.… (more)
jnmegan | Jul 31, 2018 |
On a settled off-Earth planet, the colony of Harmony is inhabited by the followers of Truesight. This philosophy requires blindness--children are born blind, and occasional recruits choose to be blinded.

In the colony, a system of sounders and pathfinders enable everyone to walk about and do their daily business. Fieldworkers manage crops, music is valued, school ends at age 13 when a profession is chosen. Without sight, community members are not distracted by the unimportant and physical.

"Seers" are considered to be bad and weak, but they do bring in deliveries (especially when harvests are bad), and maintain the community's machinery.

Jacob, 12, lives with his parents. He is nervous about what his vocation will be. He is worried about his mother's music student Delaney.

And soon he will have to make his own choice.

An very easy read, this is a true middle grade book.
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Dreesie | 3 other reviews | Apr 12, 2016 |
A doppelganger, a rare and unknown-to-man species is forced to take on a human's body and live their life until the human body slowly shrivels away and the doppelganger form takes it place again. Chris, a trouble teenage boy with a tough life at home and a football career, is killed by the doppelganger whom takes his place and deals with all of his problems. Not only is this novel exciting and unexplored, it's stimulating and captivating and will make you wonder if there really are aliens or different forms existing other than what we know of now.… (more)
ctmsolli | 4 other reviews | Dec 22, 2011 |



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