Nan’s Notes: Skeleton Creek

skeleton creekby Patrick Carman

Skeleton Creek is written in journal format, through the voice of Ryan. Before the journal begins, Ryan has had a bad accident at the dredge, an old abandoned building in his town. He writes in his journal as he is recovering from his injuries. His best friend, Sarah, also adds to the story through videos she has uploaded to the internet. Every so often in the book, Ryan provides a new password which allows the reader to see another one of Sarah’s videos. Ryan and Sarah try to solve the mystery of the dredge and learn more about a mysterious group called the Crossbones.

I picked up this book for two reasons. First, I wanted to see if it would be a good book for my nephew to read – would it be too scary? Second, I was intriqued by the innovative concept of combining the internet video clips with a text based story.

I sat down to read the book one evening, not expecting too much, thinking of it more as a gimmicky type book because of the video connection. I read to the first video clip, watched the clip, and was hooked! I immediately thought of kiddos who are reluctant readers. I think this book would hook them in and get them reading. Then I read to the second video clip and was too scared after watching the clip to read any more of the book that night! I love horror books and movies, but I do get scared very easily! (I’m still recovering from The Blair Witch Project.)

I finished the book the next day (expect for watching the last video clip because it was starting to get dark outside). This morning I got up and watched the last clip.

I had a good time reading this book! There are your typical ghost story cliches, but you know what… I didn’t care. I just really had a good time. The concept of combining the video clips with the book worked well. You couldn’t just watch the videos, you did need the text from the book to tell the story. I think I would like to use this book in an after school program with older kids at school, especially kids who are not big readers. I think the format of the book would hook the kids in and keep them hooked throughout the story. The sequel comes out on October 1st. The ending of this book would make the kids want to pick up the sequal to see what happens next.

The recommended ages for the book are 10 and up (some places say 9-12). I have to admit that I think it’s too scary for 9 and 10 year olds. I think my nephew would have nightmares.

Overall, I have to admit… the hook worked and I was pulled into the story. I had fun and was entertained.

Rating: 4/5
Challenges:
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2 Responses

  1. Interesting idea, combining the formats. My son might like this in a few years, but he thought Coraline was too scary when it read it a couple months back so we’ll probably wait for awhile. 🙂

  2. This looks really good. Will have to look inot it.

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