SHADES OF SIMON GRAY by Joyce McDonald

SHADES OF SIMON GRAY

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

It starts with an abnormal spring heat wave that triggers an invasion of spring peepers. After that, there’s the invasion of crows and an outbreak of West Nile virus. And, of course, there’s the ghost. The ghost was hanged in the Liberty Oak that Simon Gray crashed his Honda the night the peepers appeared. Simon is a high-school junior whom his sister, Courtney, calls St. Simon and who sardonically refers to himself as Dudley DoRight. However, his behavior since his mother’s death the year before has not been all that saintly. For one thing, he has joined a group of seniors in a project that is unethical if not outright illegal and could easily get them thrown out of school. Beginning with the car crash, the story weaves skillfully through the lives of Simon, his family, friends, and schoolmates, who circulate in and out of the hospital, waiting to see Simon, waiting to see if Simon survives—or not. In a comatose state, Simon meets the ghost, Jessup Wildmere, and learns the truth about his hanging. Readers get a clear picture of Simon from the memories and feelings of the other characters; although he is at the center, the others are pretty well drawn, too. Written with considerable narrative skill, the supernatural elements are so cleverly integrated that the ending is both satisfying and convincing. A page-turning plot, good characterization, and very convincing setting will have this suspenseful thriller driving up library circulation. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-385-32659-9
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2001




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