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Beginning in fifth grade, Dan Poblocki would gather his friends after school, frightening them with tales of ghosts, monsters, and spooky places. When his mother began to receive phone calls from neighborhood parents, warning that her son s stories were giving their children nightmares, Dan decided to write the stories down instead. Dan now battles his own neighborhood monsters in Brooklyn, New York. Visit him at www.danpoblocki.com. From the Hardcover edition."
Gr 5-8-Eddie, 12, is excited to be moving to Gatesweed, since his favorite author, Nathaniel Olmstead, lived there before he disappeared 13 years earlier. But it soon becomes evident that not everyone in Gatesweed is an "Olmsteady." Was the man responsible for all the tragic things that happened there? Eddie discovers what looks like a never-published Olmstead book written in code. His attempts to decipher it lead him to his first real friendships, with schoolmates Harris and Maggie, and escalating encounters with strange and frightening phenomena. Will the three kids be able to translate the manuscript and figure out what happened to Olmstead before the fabric of the universe is destroyed and the Woman in Black is freed to create havoc forever? Think John Bellairs, with a touch of R. L. Stine and Christopher Pike, and then add in a liberal sprinkling of Judeo-Christian mythology involving the Garden of Eden and its first inhabitants. The creep factor is high but not graphic, and the kids act and react like real kids. The adults (with the exception of Olmstead) play small but believable roles. Two minor quibbles-the cover art represents an important plot point, but isn't going to do much to sell the story, and the font used for the "handwritten" portions of the book is difficult to read. Still, this briskly paced novel is sure to be popular with fans of scary stuff.-Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.