School of the Dead

Avi. Harper, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-174085-5
“The first time Uncle Charlie came to live with us he was alive. The second time he came, he was dead.” So begins this decidedly creepy tale from Newbery Medalist Avi (Crispin: The Cross of Lead). After Tony Gilbert’s octogenarian great uncle Charlie moves in, they become fast friends, but their intergenerational friendship turns dark when Uncle Charlie dies but doesn’t leave. As Uncle Charlie repeatedly reminds Tony, quoting Albert Einstein, “the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion.” When Tony moves to San Francisco to start seventh grade at Uncle Charlie’s alma mater, he falls in with the quirky members of the school’s Weird History Club and finds himself at the heart of a twisted mystery, seeing ghosts but unsure who to trust. Even readers who—like Tony—don’t initially believe in the undead will easily relate to his more commonplace terrors as he navigates middle school social cliques. With a thrilling Halloween climax (when else?) and Tony’s soul on the line, this ghostly tale lives up to the chills suggested by the title. Ages 8–12. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/04/2016
Release date: 06/01/2016
Genre: Children's
Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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