SKELETON CREEK by Patrick Carman

SKELETON CREEK

Age Range: 10 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

Mischance befalls 15-year-old Ryan as he investigates the shadowed past of his small Oregon town, leaving him with a broken leg and the threat of a cross-country move if he attempts to contact his best friend and fellow investigator, Sarah. After disabling the monitoring software on his computer, Ryan and Sarah continue to communicate through surreptitious videos. Ryan’s faux-journal entries are meticulously faux-printed on faux-lined paper, with faux-printouts pasted in; this text narrative is interrupted by instructions to visit the book’s website, where increasingly esoteric passwords unlock the appropriate videos. More gimmick than narrative necessity, the videos crackle with annoyingly fake static. Inspired by the interactive thread used in Cathy’s Book (by Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman, 2006), Carman’s storytelling is not sufficiently compelling to motivate readers to continually break the narrative to look at digital content. The printed ending builds the suspense, but readers will be disappointed by the final video message, which cheapens the genuine mystery with a cliffhanger ending. Carman’s style holds some promise for readers who can get past the contrivance. (Mystery. 10-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-545-07566-4
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2008




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