The Crossroads - Review

The Crossroads by Chris Grabenstein
Publication date: 27 May 2008 by Random House
ISBN 10/13:  0375846972 | 9780375846977

Category: Middle Grade Contemporary Mystery
Format: Paperback (also available in hadcover, eBook, and audio)
Keywords: Ghosts, step-family, friendship

Kimberly's review:

Humorous, fun-filled writing is abundant in the novel The Crossroads, while still dealing with some serious topics. Zack, our new boy in town, is suspicious about that old tree that stands at the corner of the intersection in his large backyard. Mysterious things have been happening... Zack and his best friend Davy, who talks charmingly as a boy from Kentucky, investigate to find out why.

Meanwhile,step-mom Judy is also investigating and trying to find her footing in this new family. Well done Mr. Grabenstein for creating her--a smart, funny, sweet woman who is NOT an evil step-mom, and for allowing Zack's recently deceased real mom to be the dark baggage the main character has to deal with. Refreshing!

Why does the old tree look so evil? Why is the cross there? What does this have to do with clocks and the 1950s? And who is that crazy old lady?

The mystery unfolds delicately, and every time new information is given, I yelled, A-HA! (perhaps not aloud but you know what I mean) thinking I knew where this was going. But after reading further down the line, I realized no, I did not see that coming. And Grabenstein does a great job keeping the reader guessing.

The surprises and revelations keep coming all the way to the end of the book. I was surprised by how much I liked this well thought out ghost story, and how well it was done. I'll be reading the rest of the series.

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