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GHOST MEDICINE by Andrew Smith


by Andrew Smith

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-312-37557-7
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

To escape the ghosts lurking between him and his father after his mother’s death, 16-year-old Troy Stotts takes a job working for his crush Luz’s father and spends his free time with his optimistic best friend, Tommy Buller, fixing up town recluse Rose’s decrepit house. When the sheriff’s thuggish son tries to rape Luz, Troy and his friends engage in an escalating antagonism that leads to both death and openness. Though Smith’s lyrical prose moves at a glacial pace, the slowly building narrative gathers the heart-wrenching moments together to create a fully engrossing tale. Understating the violence, Smith instead allows readers to create their own graphic images of skewered horses and gunshot wounds. Troy’s attempts at invisibility contrast with other characters’ desire for recognition and fatherly approval. Rose grows beyond a stock crotchety cat lady to provide moments of genuine humor and insight, very much in the mold of Terry Pratchett’s Granny Weatherwax. After a slow start, Smith canters to a satisfying finish. (Fiction. 12 & up)