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Author: Wallace, Rich
Three separate short stories, all set in the same New Hampshire town, explore the truth behind local urban legends as, for example, sixth-grader Jordan begins seeing a boy from his school who died of injuries after being bullied.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 165647
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 3.70
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 61601
Kirkus Reviews (+) (06/01/13)
School Library Journal (09/01/13)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/13)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2013 Three scary stories set in the fictional New England town of Cheshire Notch make up this slim collection of ghost stories. Only the first can fittingly be called an “urban legend,” and it’s no coincidence that it’s the strongest tale. Middle-schooler Jordan is haunted after finding out that former school pariah, Lorne, has apparently died of a brain injury after years of torment, with each playground beat down edging him closer to death. It’s a chilling concept that Wallace uses to draw out Jordan’s, and others’, guilt over their complicity. Along the way, Jordan’s uncle adds some meta enjoyment by commenting on urban legends in general. The second story, about a group of ghostly horses, and the third story, featuring a 13-year-old who develops a crush on an eighteenth-century ghost, are mostly devoid of scares, though Wallace does believably depict fumbling teen relationships. Urban legends derive much of their power through the quick shock, so this longer format may not be ideal. Still, decent Halloween-time material. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 09/01/2013 Gr 5–9—This collection is comprised of three short and spooky urban legends that take place in a small New England town. In "The Horses of Brickyard Pond," Danny learns that the old tales about a team of ghost horses are true and comes to terms with his less-than-normal family. In "Rites of Passage," seventh-grader Owen has a ghostly encounter on a centuries-old property where five children mysteriously died in the 1800s. The title story is a modern-day legend about the mysterious fate of a bullied boy and how his former classmates are affected. Wallace has written much more than just a set of horror stories. His male protagonists deal with growing up in a natural, believable way (parents, siblings, dating, and bullying issues are at the heart of the tales), but they must also handle being spooked by the seemingly supernatural things going on around them. Kids looking for a scary book will certainly enjoy the suspenseful elements, but they will also be treated to a trio of well-written, thoughtful stories.—Jenny Berggren, formerly at New York Public Library - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.