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The Body of Christopher Creed

The Body of Christopher Creed

4.4 122
by Carol Plum-Ucci, Plum-Ucci

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Chris Creed grew up as the class freak-the bullies'

punching bag. After he vanished, the weirdness that had once surrounded him began spreading. It was as if a darkness reached out of his void to grab at the most normal, happy people-like some twisted joke or demented form of justice. It tore the town apart. Sixteen-year-old Torey Adams's search for answers opens


Chris Creed grew up as the class freak-the bullies'

punching bag. After he vanished, the weirdness that had once surrounded him began spreading. It was as if a darkness reached out of his void to grab at the most normal, happy people-like some twisted joke or demented form of justice. It tore the town apart. Sixteen-year-old Torey Adams's search for answers opens his eyes to the lies, the pain, and the need to blame when tragedy strikes, and his once-safe world comes crashing down around him. 5-1/2 X 8-1/4.

Editorial Reviews

Chris Creed was the class freak -- his high school's prime outsider. And when he mysteriously disappears, the town of Steepleton is buzzing with rumors: Has he been murdered or kidnapped? Committed suicide? Perhaps, he has simply run away. The only clue is a cryptic email message left by Christopher 24 hours before he turns up missing. In it, Chris explains how envious he is of his classmate, golden-boy Torey Adams, and several of Torey's friends, who "get everything -- athletic ability, good personalities, beautiful girlfriends." Chris closes by stating that he simply wants to "be gone."

As the police and the Creed family search for answers, so too does Torey, who is haunted by Chris's disappearance. And as he digs deeper, and becomes aware of the lies, the pain, and peoples' need to blame others when tragedy strikes, he is forever changed. Chris's sheltered, privileged life threatens to crumble, as he gets to know some of the kids in town who have been labeled misfits and finds out that people are not always what they appear to be. This fast-paced, compelling, and suspenseful novel is a powerful coming-of-age story, and an eye-opening account of how preconceived notions can lead people to relate to each other in a negative and unjustifiable manner.

Bulletin of the Center for Childrens Books
...a complex, credible look at alienation, compassion, loyalty, and cruelty among young and other adults.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
First-novelist Plum-Ucci wraps a well-crafted mystery around a topical issue: the effect teenage intolerance can have on misfits. When class freak Chris Creed suddenly disappears, his fellow students are not so much worried but abuzz with speculation: Is he a runaway, a suicide, a crime victim? Through a complicated but believable turn of events, narrator Torey Adams, a popular 16-year-old, starts to feel some concern and resolves to find the truth. His unlikely allies are two kids of dubious social status: Ali, who is Chris's neighbor, and Ali's boyfriend, Bo, a "boon" (shorthand for boondocks) with a juvenile record. Convinced Chris's mother is to blame for Chris's disappearance, they plan to break into his house to steal his hidden diary in hopes of finding evidence. The plan backfires: Bo is caught, Torey is implicated and all three are the subject of malicious gossip that proves to have dangerous consequences. Told as a flashback, the novel drags slightly at the beginning. Plum-Ucci, however, picks up the pace and builds to a fever pitch near the conclusion, vividly describing Torey's late-night hunt for Chris's body in a nearby Indian burial ground. Readers will likely be enthralled by the mystery, and, even more, they will be moved by Torey's hard-won realization that everyone deserves compassion. Ages 12-up. (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Sixteen-year-old Torey Adams's normal, rational life in small town South Jersey is turned upside down by the disappearance of Chris Creed, his high school's prime outsider. Looking back in a narrative written a year later from the boarding school he's escaped to, Torey relentlessly draws the reader into the teenage world of haves and have-nots, the blessed and the clueless. As a portrait of the missing Creed evolves, insider Torey finds himself inexplicably drawn deeper into the lives of other outsiders, like the misunderstood thief and "boonie" Bo, and the "turbo slut" Ali. This is a journey of understanding in the tradition of Cormier and the early Zindel, as well as a taut mystery-thriller. Journalist and first-time novelist Plum-Ucci writes hard and well. 2000, Harcourt, Ages 12 up, $17.00. Reviewer: Kathleen Karr—Children's Literature
VOYA - Voya Reviews
Christopher Creed could be a royal pain to his classmates. Nevertheless, when he disappears, everyone worries about what has happened to him. Has he become the victim of a murder or abduction? Is suicide a possibility? Perhaps, think some, Christopher has simply run away. The police and the Creed family search for answers. So does sixteen-year-old classmate Torey Adams. It seems as though everyone has a story about pounding Christopher for his annoying behavior; even Torey admits to slugging him once. As the mystery deepens, however, and people begin to blame various people in the small town of Steepleton, Torey begins to realize that there are many secrets in the town. Perhaps the disappearance of Christopher Creed is a mystery not meant to be solved. Despite the fact that Christopher Creed is a character never really "seen" in the novel, readers will come to know him and to care about him through the author's deft characterization. How other characters think and feel about Christopher, as well as how they react to the news of his mysterious disappearance, are as revealing as any description of him might be. The reactions of the student body, many of whom loathed Christopher, are realistic. Conversations sound as if they were recorded in any high school hallway. The open-ended conclusion will have readers talking and discussing long after reading. The book would be a great way to inspire debate about how preconceived notions can color the manner in which people relate to each other, and it will help teens challenge prejudices that they often are unaware exist. There is a great deal of depth to be plumbed in this novel. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only byoccasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2000, Harcourt, Ages 13 to 18, 256p, $17. Reviewer: Teri Lesesne
Chris Creed, a high school junior and all-around "town weirdo," envies the popular kids in school like Torey Adams: "I don't understand why I get nothing and these boys get everything—athletic ability, good personalities, beautiful girlfriends," he writes in an enigmatic e-mail to the high school principal. He goes on to say, "I wish no malice on anyone. I only wish to be gone." And indeed, he vanishes. His parents are distraught, and the school community is in turmoil. No one liked Chris particularly, but no one wanted him dead or gone—or did they? Sixteen-year-old Torey's previously "perfect" life is turned upside down in the wake of Chris's disappearance, as he starts to formulate questions about the people around him, begins to fight peer pressure, and learns to appreciate previously unseen qualities in some of the kids from the other side of the tracks. Torey even starts to doubt his own sanity when he has a vision and stumbles across a dead body. The secrets of a small town slowly emerge in this suspenseful and well-told coming-of-age story, as Torey comes to understand something of the complexities of life. The mystery of Chris's disappearance and the intriguing characters here will pull readers in; this is a gripping tale, with realistic, sometimes profane dialogue. An exceptionally strong first novel, by an author worth watching. KLIATT Codes: JS*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2000, Harcourt, 248p, 99-44212, $17.00. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick; July 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 4)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Torey Adams, 16, is on the football team, is friends with all of the brightest and best in his class, and has a beautiful girlfriend. Suddenly, a class geek disappears, leaving a cryptic e-mail message for the principal that mentions Torey and some of his friends. As the novel progresses, the teen must face his fear that Chris is dead and is in the Indian burial ground behind his house. As he searches for his classmate, the town begins to suspect that he had something to do with Chris's possible murder. Although the boy is never found, dead or alive, Torey is changed forever. He begins to bond with some of the kids in town who have been labeled misfits and finds out that people are not always what they appear to be. A high school bully has a caring streak, the seemingly perfect Chief of Police has been cheating on his wife, and a childhood friend with a reputation for sleeping around turns out to be a trustworthy companion. Torey's narration takes place a year after Chris's disappearance, during which time he posted his version of the events on the Internet in hopes of finding the missing teen. The story offers mystery, a psychic, an Indian ghost, and an interesting perspective on how cruel people can be to one another. Plum-Ucci knows her audience and provides her readers with enough twists, turns, and suspense to keep them absorbed.-Kim Harris, Newman Riga Library, Churchville, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Kirkus Reviews
Plum-Ucci makes a memorable fiction debut with this soapy tale of a teenager's disappearance from a small New Jersey town asimmer with dirty secrets. Rumors fly when despised, perennial outcast Chris Creed vanishes, leaving an ambiguous e-mail note behind. Did he run? Commit suicide? Was he kidnapped? Murdered? Suspicion quickly centers on 17-year-old Bo Richardson, a hard case with a long juvenile record—but as Bo's naïve schoolmate Alex discovers, finger-pointing is not evidence. Revelations unfold as Alex begins to look past his comfortable life and circle of superficial friends: the adults in town are still flinching over a similar disappearance a generation ago; the seemingly distraught Mrs. Creed is a control freak of the most damaging kind; a schoolmate psychologically abused by her mother's current boyfriend reveals that the local police chief is one of her mother's former ones. Most startling of all, to Alex at least, beneath Bo's brutal exterior lies a fundamental decency. Alex's insights into the fears and secrets of people around him, and the way ugly truths can be hidden by easy lies, are hard-won enough to be convincing, and the plot peaks with a gloriously icky scene in which Alex breaks his leg while breaking into an old, naturally sealed Lenape tomb, and watches a more recent corpse spontaneously decompose upon exposure to fresh oxygen. Unlike such similarly harrowing stories as Michael Cadnum's Zero at the Bone (1996) and Jean Thesman's Calling the Swan (see below), this leaves readers with hints that the missing person is still alive somewhere—but readers will understand why, if so, he's not coming out of hiding any timesoon.(Fiction. YA)

From the Publisher
[set star] “Plum-Ucci knows her audience and provides her readers with enough twists, turns, and suspense to keep them absorbed.”—School Library Journal (starred)
“A complex, credible look at alienation, compassion, loyalty, and cruelty.”—The Bulletin

Product Details

Disney Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.25(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
[set star] “Plum-Ucci knows her audience and provides her readers with enough twists, turns, and suspense to keep them absorbed.”—School Library Journal   “A complex, credible look at alienation, compassion, loyalty, and cruelty.”—The Bulletin

Meet the Author

CAROL PLUM-UCCI is the author of numerous novels for teens, including What Happened to Lani Garver and Streams of Babel. She lives in southern New Jersey.

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Body of Christopher Creed 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 122 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Everyone knows someone like Christopher Creed. He is, after all, the kid you love to hate. He'll treat you like his best friend, hanging onto your every word, following you everywhere you go, even as you tell him to go away. He'll get up, smiling, after you've punched him in the mouth after saying something totally inappropriate. He's the kid we see at every high school--the one with no friends, who thinks he knows everything, loathed by all and yet oblivious to our hatred.

Except Christopher Creed wasn't totally oblivious, as shown by the email he sends to the school principal the day he ends up missing. No one seems to be sure whether Creed was contemplating running away or comitting suicide--all they know is that he's gone, disappeared as if he'd never lived in the town of Steepleton at all.

For Victor "Torey" Adams, the day Chris Creed drops off the face of the Earth is a defining, and life-altering, day for him. Suddenly confused by the way he's treated Creed in the past, ashamed by the pure glee that his fellow students seem to get out of speculating what happened to the missing teen, Torey is disillusioned with his life--and so sets out to discover what truly happened to Christopher Creed the day he went missing.

Along with two unlikely allies, a once popular girl now considered to be a slut and a "boon" boy from the wrong side of the tracks, Torey has become obsessed with unearthing clues to Creed's mysterious disappearance. As he learns more about the strange happenings in the Creed home, as he becomes convinced that his mother is hiding something, as he wanders the woods looking for a body, Torey learns something about the way the world works--and it isn't pretty.

THE BODY OF CHRISTOPHER CREED is an engaging mystery, but it's also a look into the life and times of every high school in the world. The cliques, the drama, the need to belong. The bullying, the hatred, the intense pressure to fit in. Ms. Plum-Ucci has penned a book that goes straight to the heart of the matter--when things are unbearable in your life, when fiction is preferable to fact, how far are you willing to go to change your destiny?

A real winner, this is definitely a recommended read!
LadyHester More than 1 year ago
Very good read! The main character is courageous! He gives up his "perfect" life to attempt to solve a mystery and find the truth. The book tackles sensitive and important issues regarding weirdness, family and how we treat our peers. Highly Recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Carol Plum-Ucci always keeps you guessing. You never know what's going to happen next! The ending was awesome!
Annibebe More than 1 year ago
I highly suggest reading this book! It was such a good story that really kept you guessing and interested up until the end - which by the way, I didn't want it to end! The characters were interesting and well written. The story paints a clear picture of teen angst and the bitterness and spitefulness of a town. Loved it!
athletic More than 1 year ago
I thought that The Body of Christopher Creed was very interesting but an amazing book. In the book there were depressing/sad, happy, and very scary parts. Towards the end there is this one scene that you will never forget. I was holding my breath for like two whole minutes.You will really like this book.
mb17 More than 1 year ago
This book kept my 16 year old interested! That earns big points in my book! He couldn't put it down!
Guest More than 1 year ago
omg the book is realy good.. were actaully reading this book in our english class, and im really enjoy it they should have a movie
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is book is incredible. It has issues that every teen deals with eventually, and it has so many interpretations. It's for people who are stereotyped, people who are teased, people who are disliked by the 'popular' kids, people who have crazy parents. It doesn't matter if you are plagued by these issues or not, reading this book will open up your eyes and make you understand those kids who don't get along with others well. And if you so happen to be a person who causes these issues, if you read this, I swear you will at least stop and think about how you treat others will effect them. It doesn't matter who you are or your place in high school's society...YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to to a book report, and I choose this to read. Of course I read the reviews first because I was a bit skeptical, but it turned out I enjoyed it. Caution>> If you're young and reading this, this book requires maturity from you. You have to have an open mind. I have searched up the lexile level and its L720 and reccommended for kids 14+. I can see why now. This book has issues that cover from the past and now, splattered with lessons you wouldn't want to forget. I think you will enjoy it, but what can I say, opinions vary. Chris Creed is surrounded by his own reality- heck, everyone is. Only a few see the truth. Chris Creed suddenly disappears without a trace and the town starts shoving fingers at others because no one wants to point it at themselves. The journey of Torey Adams and his quest to find the truth about Creed envelopes his other goals. Torey starts to realize that everyone is not perfect as they appear to be. Adams tries to find the body of Creed. It is up to the reader to decide whether Creed killed himself or ran away. ---+ I think there is another book after this... So reader, if you are deciding to buy and read this, it is in your hands.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Body Of Christopher Creed was the best book i have ever read. I really got into this book and it was very hard to put it down. It was very supenseful and a great ending that will shock you when you read it. This is why i give it 5 stars! 13 yr old in mi.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
im reading this for my class & its v detailed and deals with ver complex things. I would not recomend this for someone who wants a quick read or can jusg skim through it, it id also for a older croud and has some mild language. And it of courde talks about death/suicide/missing persons.
Mulletmama More than 1 year ago
This book takes place in a small town called Steepleton where everyone knows everybody. There's a boy that lives in Steepleton named Chris who was constantly mocked since he was young and has suddenly disappeared, leaving nothing but a mysterious letter. No one in Steepleton knows what happened to him, not even his own mother. They don't know whether he was kidnapped, if he committed suicide or if he just left town. Now everyone in Steepleton is blaming each other for Chris' Disappearance and Torey and his friends are trying to get to the bottom of this mystery. I enjoyed reading this book because it's suspenseful to the very end. There are so many surprises in this book, I enjoyed reading every page. The characters in this story are Complex and they have their own opinions about Chris' disappearance. The lesson to learn is you shouldn't be cruel to people because it might not seem to affect them, but it hurts inside. Chris wasn't a bad person, he just wanted friends. Nobody cared about him until he disappeared. In this story nobody wanted to admit that they treated Chris badly. I would recommend this book to people that love to read books that keep you on the edge of your seat to the very end. It was honestly one of the best books I have ever read because once you pick up this book up, you won’t want to put it down until you read it to the end. It has so much suspense to it and I recommend that you read the second book too; it’s called “Following Christopher Creed”. The second one is just as good as the first. This is one of my all-time favorite books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best book by far
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I gave this book 5 stars because this was a simply a great book! It had me wanting more nearly every second i had it in my hands, and you never knew what would come next. In this story, A bullied boy named Christopher Creed suddenly disappears, with no evidence of where he went, or how he left, except for one mysterious email sent out 24 hours before his disappearance. Chris's absence tweaks the interest of Torey Adams, one of Chris's 'bullies', and as the story progresses, Torey becomes curious of where Creed went. Torey finds the saying ''Curiosity killed the cat'' can be taken literally, as his curiosity for Creed's disappearance simply drags him forth into a painful and twisted series of events. Will Torey turn back, or will he overcome his fears and curiosity? Find out in THE BODY OF CHRISTOPHER CREED! I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a decently-quick moving plot, the book went from mysterious to thrilling and action packed in just a few chapters (mostly towards the ending). I would also recommend this book someone who doesn't mind a few cuss words, i found a handful in only the first few chapters, which i will not clearly state. In all, i thought this was a wonderful book, and I'd read it again and again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! C:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is suspensful and full of mystery. This is something everyone will enjoy reading. :)
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a little iffy in the beginning but once Torey started hanging with Ali and Bo it got really interesting. Now I'm going to read all the other books the author wrote.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was just sensational. I stumbled upon it in my school library one day and I grabbed it simply because it sounded interesting. It was so much more. It was fast-paced,wel-written, and just grand. Buy this book. You will not regret it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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