Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE HANGING HILL by Chris Grabenstein

THE HANGING HILL

By Chris Grabenstein

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: July 28th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-375-84699-1
Publisher: Random House

Thrills and chills of the ectoplasmic and mildly gruesome kind abound in this exciting, humorous sequel to The Crossroads (2008), the author’s first novel about 11-year-old Zack Jennings, who sees and vanquishes ghosts. Zack and his famous-author stepmom Judy arrive at a regional theater in Connecticut where a musical based on Judy’s popular books is to be produced. There’s more to this theater than greasepaint and sawdust, however. (Hint: Not for nothing is it called “The Hanging Hill Playhouse.”) Before long Zack encounters all manner of specters who met their demise in and around the place, and readers are let in on the secret, demented doings of the director, whose dabblings in necromancy are designed to resurrect brutal killers. A new friendship with a famous young film star develops realistically, and Zack and other benevolent ghost hunters are soon on the breathtaking case. Readers will race through terse sentences and demonically paced chapters to reach the satisfying, Indiana Jones–like and, yes, thought-provoking ending—and they’ll be hanging on for the next installment. (Fantasy. 10-12)