Children's Books

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SEPTEMBER 10, 2010
The Haunting of Derek Stone by Tony Abbott
City of the Dead, Bayou Dogs, The Red House, and The Ghost Road are titles in this new series starring 14-year-old Derek Stone in the city of New Orleans. A train wreck leaves Derek's older brother Ronny and father dead, having been thrown off a bridge. Derek survives along with a girl named Abby who sat across from him on the train. Several weeks later Ronny returns home with an apparent memory loss, and things become even stranger after he visits an old, blind jazz musician late one night. The musician informs Derek that Ronny is not his brother at all, but Virgil Black, a young soldier he knew from 1938 who also happened to die in a train wreck at the exact same spot that Ronny did. Further, Derek learns that Virgil has returned from the other side through a tear that separates the two worlds and is using Ronny's body to fight others, with evil intent, who are reentering this world the same way. This begins the wild adventure Derek, Ronny, and Abby embark upon through the swamps and battlefields of New Orleans to fight the "Legion" and close the "Rift" before the "Grand Return" begins. This series will appeal to readers in grades 4-8 who enjoy fast-paced adventures and lots of ghosts. It is not especially scary as much as it is a mystery for the good guys to solve before the bad guys take over the world. The covers are enticing. Each book is a manageable length and with the low reading level, this is a great choice for reluctant readers. The ending leads me to believe that there might be more adventures in the future for Derek Stone, or is it Ulysses?

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