Gathering of Shades

Gathering of Shades

by David Stahler Jr.
     
 

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Sixteen-year-old Aidan's grandmother has a secret recipe. She feeds ghosts. Her nightly ritual keeps the local lost souls lingering, caught between life and death. When Aidan stumbles upon this knowledge in the wake of his own father's death, the revelation shakes him to the core. Grief-stricken, he is dangerously drawn into the strange and wondrous world of the

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Overview

Sixteen-year-old Aidan's grandmother has a secret recipe. She feeds ghosts. Her nightly ritual keeps the local lost souls lingering, caught between life and death. When Aidan stumbles upon this knowledge in the wake of his own father's death, the revelation shakes him to the core. Grief-stricken, he is dangerously drawn into the strange and wondrous world of the dead — and away from the living people who love him.

This beautifully crafted tale of love and loss is told in shades of otherworldly mystery. David Stahler Jr. spins a chilling story that delves into the depths of grief and emerges as a shimmering celebration of life.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“Eloquence on grief and yearning, combined with a vision of ghosts refreshingly distinct, will exert a powerful hold on imaginations.”
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-After his father is killed in a car accident, 16-year-old Aidan and his mother move to a farm in the mountains of Vermont where his grandmother spends hours alone in her orchard. One evening, Aidan follows her and discovers that she is able to summon ghosts; they drink her blood and listen to stories of her daily life so that they, too, feel alive. Just like Mem re, Aidan is able to see and talk with them. Soon he spots the ghost of a young boy who runs away whenever he sees Aidan, and the teen becomes obsessed with finding out whether this boy knows something about his father. The suspenseful story is drawn out as readers learn more about Aidan, his family, and the ghosts. The protagonist grapples with many issues, such as his father's death, his mother's depression, and his mysterious grandmother. The book frequently alludes to Homer's Odyssey, including its title, taken from the poem. Like Odysseus, Aidan is on a quest to find out about his family that takes him on many twists and turns. Even though some readers may have trouble interpreting some of the book's symbolism, the supernatural story, with its issues of grief and recovery, is well written, and many thoughtful teens will enjoy it.-Jane Cronkhite, Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The prologue sets the scene: An old woman sitting in an orchard at dusk chats with a group of spirits she summoned by mixing her own blood with spring water. David, unsettled by his father's death in a car accident and angry with his mother for moving to a farm in northern Vermont, becomes fascinated with his grandmother Eloise's nightly expeditions to the orchard to meet her ghostly friends. Stahler fashions the intricate plot very carefully, propelling it with David's growth through grief and providing a satisfying but not cliched resolution. Parallels to Homer's Odyssey, sprinkled throughout, add depth without being intrusive. The fully realized characters-both teens and adults alike-raise this above the formulaic and closer to magical realism. Secondary characters are well-drawn, vivid human beings. Like many real people, some of them curse and some of them smoke, though, in a nod to current convention, they try to hide it. Unlike most dark fantasy tales, this gathering serves up few thrills and even fewer chills, but will still keep teens reading right up to the very end. (Fiction. YA)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060522957
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/10/2005
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.12(h) x 1.09(d)
Age Range:
13 Years

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Meet the Author

David Stahler Jr. received his bachelor's degree in English from Middlebury College in 1994 and later earned a graduate degree from the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Dartmouth College. His other provocative works for young adults include Truesight, The Seer, and Otherspace. He teaches in Vermont, where he lives with his wife and two children.

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