With his older brother, Ben, a soon to be high school senior, as guardian, Noah Stiles and some friends are on their way to his family's cabin—a final summer getaway before returning to school and their freshman year of high school. Set in the woods, high in the mountains and close to a lake, the cabin is tiny and in need of a fire to warm things up. After waiting quite a while for Ben to return with firewood, Noah sets out to find his brother who is lying in wait hoping to scare Noah, which he does. Sitting round the fire, Ben tells the boys a ghost story with a less than satisfying ending. As the group heads to their respective beds, Noah finds he can't fall asleep, and after a while spies the silhouette of a man outside the window, a red-eyed man whose figure seems to rise and sprout wings! Noah's scream brings everyone running and the local police are called—but that's just the beginning. With an RL of 2.6 (Guided Reading Level N), this strange, entertaining tale is an easy read, even for reluctant readers, and will make a good addition to a study of the horror/ghost story genre. Illustrated sparingly with simple, realistic, black and white sketches, the book is also a good example of a multi-genre work for younger readers. At the end of the book there is a police report and case notes, shedding additional light on Grant's experience, as well as a "Dear Reader" letter from the author, Jason Strange (an obvious pseudonym). As an additional aid for use in Guided Reading groups or book clubs, the book also includes a glossary, discussion questions, and writing prompts, allowing for its readers to work cooperatively and independently. Reviewer: Maria Lamattina, EdD.
Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.30 (h) x 0.20 (d)
Meet the Author
Phil Parks is a Michigan native who has been illustrating books for more than twenty years. With subjects ranging from adult mystery and dark fantasy to whimsical children's literature, he has had the opportunity to work with authors such as Dean Koontz, Ray Bradbury, Lawrence Block, and many others.