Picture the Dead [NOOK Book]

Overview

Jennie's connection with her twin brother, Toby, grew stronger after he died in 1864. Now Jennie must rely on her ability to communicate with his spirit to find out what has happened to her beloved fiancé, Will, while he was off at war. The army says he died honorably in battle. But his brother confides that Will became a violent criminal and died in a prison camp. Jennie begins to doubt that anyone is telling her the truth.

With the help of a...
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Picture the Dead

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Overview

Jennie's connection with her twin brother, Toby, grew stronger after he died in 1864. Now Jennie must rely on her ability to communicate with his spirit to find out what has happened to her beloved fiancé, Will, while he was off at war. The army says he died honorably in battle. But his brother confides that Will became a violent criminal and died in a prison camp. Jennie begins to doubt that anyone is telling her the truth.

With the help of a spiritualist photographer, the spirit of her dead fiancé, and the clues she discovers and keeps in her scrapbook, Jennie must put together the pieces of this mystery before she loses her home, her fortune, and possibly her life.
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Editorial Reviews

Julie Just
Brown's striking portraits, drawings displayed throughout as though in a photo album, animate this artful Civil War-era novel…The story is engrossing and the period details an added pleasure.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
In this smartly restrained ghost story, orphan Jennie has already lost her twin brother to the Civil War, but when her brooding cousin, Quinn, returns wounded to their Massachusetts home, she learns that Will--Quinn's brother and Jennie's fiancé--is also dead. Displaced and treated like a servant by her miserly aunt, Jennie succumbs to Quinn's romantic advances, in spite of a ghostly recurring sensation that she is being choked, and her sense that something's amiss with Will's death. Integrated letters, scrawled notes, and Brown's (How to Be) digital portraits (based on daguerreotypes) provide foreshadowing, while contributing to the unease that gnaws at Jennie's stark yet beautiful narration. Through her association with a spirit photographer, Mr. Geist, Jennie presumes that Will is jealous over her engagement to Quinn, but Griffin's (the Vampire Island series) house of mirrors unveils secrets more sinister. Despite the powerful conclusion, it's moments of quiet perception that should most resonate, as when Mr. Geist distinguishes between memory and haunting: "For if memory is the wave that buoys our grief, haunting is the undertow that drags us to its troubled source." Ages 12–up. (May)
Kirkus
"A tale of lost love, family betrayal and visits from the spirit world, also included is an engaging thread involving a spirit medium who employs photography in his fraudulent craft. Each of the short chapters is paired with Brown's darkly inked, realistic drawings that mimic the look of photographs, newspaper articles and letters written in the elaborate cursive style of the era."
From the Publisher
"Brown's striking portraits, drawings displayed throughout as though in a photo album, animate this artful Civil War-era novel. Jennie, 16 years old and an orphan, is left without prospects when Will, her fiancé, dies on the battlefield: his mother is her reluctant guardian, and makes it clear she is no longer welcome in the house. With the aid of a spirit photographer, Jennie attempts to get to the bottom of a mystery: How exactly did Will die, and why does she keep having such horrible dreams? The story is engrossing and the period details an added pleasure. " - The New York Times

"[Picture the Dead] combines social and physical history to make the perfect setting... With social history woven into the physical realities of the Civil War, including its effect on the soldiers and the families they left behind, this novel creates a uniquely holistic view of the time period that is often lacking in other works of historical fiction." - VOYA

"These smaller details really made the story more real to me, and brought the Civil War era so much more to life. Of course, these details were aided by the great scrapbook illustrations provided. The whole package was just very well-put-together." - Book Lust

"For me, this book was a wonderful palette cleanser. My inclination towards the paranormal was satisfied, but there was so much history to appreciate, and a mystery, too. I thoroughly enjoyed all of it." - Tempting Persephone

"The thing I like best about it was that it really kept you guessing right until the very end. It was more of a ghost/mystery story, really, with a bit of a love triangle of sorts thrown in for good measure. FANTASTIC!" - Book Blab

"What a gem Sourcebooks Fire has in this book! Adele Griffin paints a thriller with words while Lisa Brown fills your head with lovely period costume adaptations. " - Bookalicious

"Evocative black-and-white drawings... Griffin's vivid writing will draw readers into Jennie's first-person narrative of love, doubt, and mystery... The tale goes beyond [Jennie's] particular ghosts and shows how broadly the country was haunted: survivors by the loss of loved ones and soldiers by wretched memories. A Civil War ghost story with gothic overtones." - Booklist

""A tale of lost love, family betrayal and visits from the spirit world, also included is an engaging thread involving a spirit medium who employs photography in his fraudulent craft. Each of the short chapters is paired with Brown's darkly inked, realistic drawings that mimic the look of photographs, newspaper articles and letters written in the elaborate cursive style of the era."" - Kirkus

"Integrated letters, scrawled notes, and Brown's digital portraits... provide foreshadowing, while contributing to the unease that gnaws at Jennie's stark yet beautiful narration... Despite the powerful conclusion, it's moments of quiet perception that should most resonate, as when Mr. Geist distinguishes between memory and haunting: "For if memory is the wave that buoys our grief, haunting is the undertow that drags us to its troubled source." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)" - Publishers Weekly

"Adele Griffin here combines the supernatural elements she explored in The Other Shepherds and the war themes of Sons of Liberty to chilling and riveting effect... Griffin smoothly weaves together the growing popularity of the Spiritualist movement... with breakthroughs in photography... Lisa Brown's drawings, which evoke the period and also act as faux facsimiles of Jennie's scrapbook, elevate the suspense and contribute to this gripping novel's Daphne Du Maurier-like aura." - Shelf Awareness

Shelf Awareness
"Adele Griffin here combines the supernatural elements she explored in The Other Shepherds and the war themes of Sons of Liberty to chilling and riveting effect... Griffin smoothly weaves together the growing popularity of the Spiritualist movement... with breakthroughs in photography... Lisa Brown's drawings, which evoke the period and also act as faux facsimiles of Jennie's scrapbook, elevate the suspense and contribute to this gripping novel's Daphne Du Maurier-like aura."
- ShelfAwareness

— Jennifer Brown

Booklist
"Evocative black-and-white drawings... Griffin's vivid writing will draw readers into Jennie's first-person narrative of love, doubt, and mystery... The tale goes beyond [Jennie's] particular ghosts and shows how broadly the country was haunted: survivors by the loss of loved ones and soldiers by wretched memories. A Civil War ghost story with gothic overtones."
- Booklist

— Carolyn Phelan

The New York Times
Brown's striking portraits, drawings displayed throughout as though in a photo album, animate this artful Civil War-era novel. Jennie, 16 years old and an orphan, is left without prospects when Will, her fiancé, dies on the battlefield: his mother is her reluctant guardian, and makes it clear she is no longer welcome in the house. With the aid of a spirit photographer, Jennie attempts to get to the bottom of a mystery: How exactly did Will die, and why does she keep having such horrible dreams? The story is engrossing and the period details an added pleasure.
— Julie Just
VOYA - Rachel Wadham
When her twin, Toby, is killed in battle, Jennie Lovell finds comfort in the whisperings that come from his spirit and in the fact that her fiance, Will, may still return from the ravages of the Civil War. Then Will's younger brother, Quinn, returns seriously wounded, with news of Will's death, and Jennie's hope for a future with Will is lost. Haunted by her grief, Jennie begins to get spectral messages from Will that reveal there is more to the story of his death than Quinn is divulging. Lead by Will and supported by a spiritualist photographer, Jennie uncovers the truth behind Quinn's dangerous web of lies. With unremarkable characters and a simple plot, this book would have little to recommend except for the extraordinary way it combines social and physical history to make the perfect setting. Drawing on the popular Victorian pastime of keeping scrapbooks, each chapter is preceded by reproductions from Jennie's personal book that not only support the text but also reveal intriguing clues to the mystery. Drawing on the spiritualist movement that grew in popularity at this time adds the ambiance of the period and makes this a less overt ghost story. With social history woven into the physical realities of the Civil War, including its effect on the soldiers and the families they left behind, this novel creates a uniquely holistic view of the time period that is often lacking in other works of historical fiction. Reviewer: Rachel Wadham
School Library Journal
Gr 6–10—This highly unusual book is a combination of historical fiction, a ghost story, and a scrapbook. Jennie Lovell's twin brother, Toby, and her fiancé, Will, have been killed in the Civil War, the latter under mysterious circumstances. Will's brother returns home a battered, bitter young man with secrets that Jennie is determined to uncover. She is under the guardianship of her aunt and uncle, Will and Quinn's parents, and they threaten to turn her out. She is mesmerized by a photographer who claims to be able to capture images from the spirit world, and she uses this relationship to explore the signs she believes Will is sending her, warnings that she must decipher carefully. In the end, it isn't clear if the ghost of Jennie's fiancé is real or a figment of her imagination, which makes the story all the more eerie. What is suspect, and frightening, is Quinn's sudden interest in Jennie. The inclusion of family portraits, invitations, newspaper clippings, and letters from her scrapbook make the reading experience rich with texture. Serious readers of historical fiction will be pleased to discover a book with a unique perspective on such a well-represented period of American history as well as a good story with suspense and a determined heroine.—Nora G. Murphy, Los Angeles Academy Middle School
Kirkus Reviews
A brooding mystery set during the Civil War, this gripping ghost story of a young woman trapped by the confines of her gender and social standing is not altogether successful in its format. Blending straightforward first-person narration and illustrations fashioned to look like a scrapbook, much of the novel's impact is drawn from its protagonist Jennie's beautifully crafted plaintive voice. A tale of lost love, family betrayal and visits from the spirit world, also included is an engaging thread involving a spirit medium who employs photography in his fraudulent craft. Each of the short chapters is paired with Brown's darkly inked, realistic drawings that mimic the look of photographs, newspaper articles and letters written in the elaborate cursive style of the era. Alas, the repetition of some of the images is too unsubtle in foreshadowing the story's conclusion. Also, though carefully rendered, the illustrations often interrupt rather than enhance the flow of the work and may seem out of place for older teen readers, who would otherwise be a natural audience for this appealingly gothic work. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402253690
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,390,563
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • File size: 32 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

ADELE GRIFFIN is the critically acclaimed author of numerous young adult novels, including My Almost Epic Summer, The Other Shepards, and National Book Award Finalists Where I Want to Be and Sons of Liberty. She lives in New York City.

LISA BROWN is the bestselling author and illustrator of How to Be and Sometimes and the very popular Baby Be of Use board book series from McSweeney's. She also publishes a bimonthly illustrated book review in the San Francisco Chronicle. She lives in California with her husband, author Lemony Snicket, and their son.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    Picture the dead

    I totally reacmmed this book to others ota a great book!!! And a little scary hope you enjoy it as much as I did

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2013

    Help

    Do someone now how to get a book gone?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2013

    B-

    Not great, not awful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2012

    I hope it is good

    It looks so strange...

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    ???????

    WHAT IS THIS??? WHAT IS BLACKFIRE????? IS THIS A BOOK OR WHAT??????

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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