When Gabe Riley and his friends start filming a horror movie at Blood Red Pond, his own life begins to take a weird turn. "This spry work blends wisecracks with insightful reflections on life, death, and relationships".--"Publishers Weekly".

While filming a movie for a school project, Gabe and his friends discover mysterious activities at a supposedly vacant house.

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When Gabe Riley and his friends start filming a horror movie at Blood Red Pond, his own life begins to take a weird turn. "This spry work blends wisecracks with insightful reflections on life, death, and relationships".--"Publishers Weekly".

While filming a movie for a school project, Gabe and his friends discover mysterious activities at a supposedly vacant house.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In relating the escapades of a youthful upstate New York filmmaker and his goofy friends, Hayes (The Trouble with Lemons) spins a tale that goes straight from the funnybone to the heart. The 15-year-old narrator, Gabe Riley, faces problems aplenty: his mother took off years earlier, never to be heard from again, and he frequently has to scrape his lawyer father off a barstool. However, these potentially dire circumstances are not the core of the story but rather the occasion to enrich it with incisive empathy and wry humor. Instead the plot centers on mysterious goings-on at a cantankerous neighbor's homestead. Events unfold so subtly that despite foreshadowing and some seemingly obvious clues, even readers who think they know what's going to happen next are in for a surprise. (A gaffe about a shotgun that figures in the denouement mars its impact only slightly.) Throughout, this spry work blends wisecracks with insightful reflections on life, death and relationships. Falling in love, for example, is "a little like getting a bad cold-sometimes the symptoms persist longer than others, but it's only a matter of time before you feel like yourself again." Fresh and convincing. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
VOYA - Candace Deisley
Hayes has done it again: given us a gem of a young adult novel in the tradition of his The Trouble With Lemons (Godine, 1991). We are presented with a ghost story with a fair share of mystery, peppered with some real-life issues like dating, drinking, driving and peer pressures. But our author mixes it with his marvelous humor, and the blend is terrific! Gabe Riley and his friends are making a movie about ghosts and swamp monsters, but a few things go wrong. They are observed (in costume) by townsfolk, and a series of occurrences is triggered which appears frightening to the neighbors, but hilarious to those of us in the know. But then strange things begin to happen, and the grandson of eccentric old Mr. Lindstrom appears, frightening his grandfather into a stroke by his resemblance to the old man's son, who was killed in a car accident the year before. The ending is very touching; Mr. Lindstrom dies understanding the identity of this young man. This wonderful novel will have much appeal, especially to boys. The beginning is thick with detail that takes working through, but the rewards are great! VOYA Codes: 5Q 4P S (Hard to imagine it being any better written, Broad general YA appeal, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-A mysterious, supernatural element is always lurking around the corners of this story, and while readers may find themselves wondering at times what Hayes is up to, the pleasure of meandering around the narrator's head is so real that the leisurely plot doesn't seem to matter. Gabe Riley, 15, has a passion for filmmaking, a good sense of humor, and a penchant for observation. His reflections on his friends and family, and on life in general, are at the center of the novel. He and Ethan, his younger brother, live with their father, a lawyer. Mr. Riley does a lot of drinking and schmoozing, but he genuinely cares for people and tries to help them. Gabe is a fair-minded, live-and-let-live kind of guy, except when it comes to those who would milk an emotional trauma for all it's worth. No stranger to heartache, he admires people who are generous and resourceful and scorns those "survivors"-whether of abuse, addiction, or divorce-who brag of their misery or tell others what to do. The narrative flows at an easy, ambling pace, full of humorous and poignant scenes. All of the characters, even the more stereotypical ones, come to life. Gabe's faith in the people he loves and keen and critical perceptions of himself and others make this book well worth reading.-Vanessa Elder, School Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442488816
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 3/11/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,000,432
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Hayes is the author of three previous novels for young adults: The Trouble With Lemons (an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and an IRA Young Adults’ Choice), Eye of the Beholder, and No Effect (an ALA Best Book for Young Adults). Booklist has hailed Hayes for his “ability to articulate so accurately the inner workings of his adolescent hero’s mind.” An English teacher at Troy High School in Troy, New York, he lives in Schaghticoke, New York. Visit Daniel’s web site at

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