CREEPERS by Keith Gray


Age Range: 10 - 12
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 A young boy discovers self-confidence and endures the loss of his best friend in Gray's uneven debut. As the story opens, the 14- year-old narrator--whom Gray never refers to by name--and his best friend, Jamie, are on a ``Creep''--running and sneaking through neighbors' yards under cover of night. But when Jamie gets arrested, the protagonist is labeled a ``Nambie'' at school, blasted by other creepers for letting his ``Buddie'' get ``Snared.'' Then a fire destroys Jamie's home, killing him. The narrator's grief and terror are dramatically conveyed; similarly, when Jamie suddenly appears at his friend's house the following evening, claiming to have escaped the fire completely, readers will feel the narrator's unbounded joy. Their only course of action seems clear, a creep to end all creeps. The thrill of victory is marred only by Jamie's absence; he really did die in the fire, of course, and now exists only in the protagonist's tormented imagination. Many readers will find the lead character's departure from reality too clumsy and contrived to accept. Despite the involving characters and setting, Gray doesn't convey the significance of creeping convincingly, thereby rendering the events of the story none too compelling. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 1997
ISBN: 0-399-23186-2
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1997


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