Ellen’s Picks of the Day 2/23/09

cityofthedeadReaders ages 9 to 13 (and older) who like spooky (but not nightmare-inducing) stories will want to get their hands on The Haunting of Derek Stone, a new series by Tony Abbott (whom many of you know as the author of The Secrets of Droon.)

The underlying premise of this series, as explained by 14-year-old Derek Stone, is that, “at the very moment of death, when a soul flees its dying body, another soul – one that’s been dead a long time – can take its place and reanimate the body.”  He knows this as a fact, because, in the first book, City of the Dead, the soul of a young prison guard named Virgil Black, who was killed in a train crash in 1938, takes over the body of Derek’s brother, Ronny, who similarly was killed in a train crash.

This so-called “translation” can occur because there’s a tear in the fabric between the worlds of the living and the dead, and the dead want to take full advantage of the “rift” to bring their war between good and evil to our world.  Fortunately, Virgil/Ronny is one of the good guys, because the bad guys are after Derek (who, by the way, is a little overweight and can’t hear well out of his left ear.)

bayoudogs1In the 2nd book, Bayou Dogs, which is due out in March, Derek and Virgil/Ronny learn a few things that might help them foil the comeback of the evil souls.  But this requires Derek to return to the site of his worst nightmare, Bayou Malpierre.  The suspense just gets greater and greater!

The Haunting of Derek Stone: City of the Dead by Tony Abbott $4.99 (paperback)

The Haunting of Derek Stone: Bayou Dogs by Tony Abbott $4.99 (paperback); Scholastic Press

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