THE GRAVE ROBBER'S SECRET by Anna Myers

THE GRAVE ROBBER'S SECRET

Age Range: 8 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

After being forced by his angry, alcoholic, Irish-immigrant father to dig up newly buried bodies and sell them to a nearby Philadelphia medical school, 12-year-old Robby Hare’s luck turns from bad to worse when his family rents its last vacant rooms to devious William Burke and his typhoid-survivor daughter, Martha. Even as Robby and Martha traipse around their neighborhood, helping mentally challenged Daft Jane and other needy folks, the two cloying do-gooders also try to figure out where their cunning fathers continually disappear together and why late-night visitors are mysteriously absent the next morning. Although she bases Hare and Burke on infamous, real-life murderers from 19th-century Edinburgh, Scotland, prolific historical-fiction author Myers misses the mark this time with a creeping pace, stilted dialogue and an anticlimactic ending. Even Robby’s gruesome job at the medical school (where he’s asked to dump body parts in a well and allowed to observe early modern medicine), his observations on women’s inequality and his budding independence are not enough to hold readers’ attention. (author’s note) (Historical fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8027-2183-9
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Walker
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2011




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