THE SUMMER OF THE BONEPILE MONSTER

Hollis and his older sister, Lou, have been sent away to spend the summer at their grandmother's country house while their parents try to work out their marital problems. Hollis soon has more to think about than home; next door is Bonepile Hollow, where a monster lives that no one will talk about, a singing mouse starts visiting his room at night, and a mysterious figures starts appearing amidst the ever-encroaching kudzu. By turns wondrous and suspenseful, this debut novel makes reality seem magical to create an aura of enchantment. As she builds to a scary and somewhat brutal conclusion, Henderson tosses off many fascinating details about the vivid setting. Whether Hollis is learning how to play a pan-pipe, waiting in the dark for the singing mouse, fighting back the malevolent kudzu, or exploring the evil at the heart of the Hollow, his adventures are engrossing and exotic. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 1, 1995

ISBN: 1-57131-603-5

Page Count: 140

Publisher: Milkweed

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1995

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SOMETHING WICKEDLY WEIRD

THE WOODEN MILE

A prolific British illustrator makes a rare foray across the pond with this faintly Gothic series opener. Eleven-year-old Stanley is amazed to learn that he’s inherited an old mansion in Crampton Rock—a distant seaside town whose residents turn out to include a candy-store owner who changes into a werewolf every night, a trio of menacing (if ineffectual pirates) and a supposedly dead pike that utters cryptic warnings. Fortunately, Stanley is a clever, doughty lad, well capable of blasting the werewolf with a silver bullet, tricking the pirates into barrels and weathering other challenges with just occasional help from adult allies. Mould adds plenty of comically ghoulish ink drawings and silhouettes to his fluently written tale, and sets up a continuing plotline that leads to encounters with a decapitated ghost and more pirates in the next episode, The Icy Hand (ISBN: 978-159643-385-4, also September). Fine fare for fans of the likes of Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell’s Far-Flung Adventures series or Philip Ardagh’s Eddie Dickens trilogy. (Fantasy. 9-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-59643-383-0

Page Count: 188

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2008

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I SO DON’T DO SPOOKY

Despite her attempts to lead a normal life filled with shopping trips and dates with her hunky boyfriend, middle schooler Sherry Holmes Baldwin finds herself thrust back into the role of supernatural sleuth. In this sequel to I So Don’t Do Mysteries (2008), Sherry and her best friend, Junie, take on the serious task of unmasking an individual who is stalking Sherry’s stepmother. Similar to the previous text, Sherry’s deceased mom and grandfather lend support from beyond the grave, a device that, through humor and a thorough setup, manages to be more believable than creepy. In addition to wanting to protect her stepmother, Sherry is determined to crack this mystery for a chance to be awarded five minutes of “Real Time” with her deceased mother. Perfectly tame for middle schoolers—Sherry’s dates never pass PG, and although the threat of the stalker is at times menacing, Sherry’s silly, over-the-top inner dialogue helps defuse the situation and provide comic relief. (Mystery. 10-12)

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-385-73604-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2009

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