ME & DEATH by Richard Scrimger


An Afterlife Adventure
Age Range: 12 & up
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An uninspired send-up of A Christmas Carol. A car hits neighborhood thug Jim, and while his body lies in a coma, his soul has a brief stay in a ramshackle Purgatory hotel. There he is shown visions of his former delinquency by three types of ghosts: a Mourner, a Grave Walker and a Slayer. When he finally comes to, he passionately vows to make amends for all his past transgressions in typical Scrooge fashion. Even though the connections between the characters and their Dickens inspirations are entirely obvious, Scrimger still spells it out in the text, leaving nothing to readers’ imaginations. “You really are different, Jim. Ever since you came back from the hospital. You’re like Scrooge in that movie.” While Jim’s irreverent tone is mildly amusing and the final showdown between him and the abusive father of one his previous victims is well choreographed and suspenseful, the story is didactic and predictable. A better choice is Gary Soto’s lyrical, melancholic The Afterlife (2003). (Fantasy. 12 & up)

Pub Date: April 13th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-88776-796-8
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Tundra
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2010


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