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Julie JustBrown'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
"Picture the Dead makes an important contribution to Civil War novels and would be an excellent purchase any reader who enjoys a good mystery and ghost story." - Bibliophilic Book Blog
" Punctuated with family photos, handwritten letters, and other mementos from Jennie's scrapbook, Picture the Dead is a classic ghost story for teenage and adult readers alike." - Sacramento Book Review
"But the story and setting were engrossing, and that's all I can ask for as a reader. " - Beth Hull
"This book is those wonderful reads that can actually steal you away from reality and plunk you directly in the passenger seat next to the main character." - Kiss the Book
"Definitely an interesting read—give it a try if you're up for something cool and different!" - Good Books Lately
"The story is filled with twists and turns that kept me constantly guessing and gripping the edge of my seat in anticipation." - Small Review
"Griffin's lauguage is the right amount of beauty and questioning darkness. And 100% lovely. " - Happy Nappy Bookseller
"One thing I really enjoyed about this story was how well the mystery developed. I honestly thought I had the ending figured out, but there was so much more to it than I expected. " - The Ninja Librarian
"It did a great job of capturing the gruesome, unsettling, and extremely creepy, setting of America towards the end of the Civil War. " - Plymouth Library"I couldn't put this book down and I am sure that a student wouldn't be able to either. " - Kiss the Book
— Jennifer Brown
— Carolyn Phelan
Posted April 25, 2011
Picture the Dead was an interesting book. It was a quick read, because it actually had pictures--the second author credited on the cover is actually the illustrator--pictures which gave clues to things that were about to happen or clarified things that already had. I enjoyed the story, but the pacing seemed a bit off--for a lot of it, it felt like not much was happening and then once it did, bam! it all happened at once. Still, though, it was a fun way to spend a few hours.
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Posted December 25, 2012
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Posted June 10, 2010
Jennie Lovell has suffered much tragedy in her 16 years. Her parents died, her twin brother was killed fighting in the Civil War, and now her fiancé/cousin has also fallen on the battlefield. The aunt and uncle who have taken her in-never overly warm towards her- have fallen on hard times. She doesn't know what she'll do if they put her out.
Jennie's cousin Quinn seems to be harboring a secret about his brother's death, and his own wounding in combat. When the family turns to a spiritualist photographer to help calm their grief, Jennie begins to feel her fiancé is trying to send a message through the prints made. Deciphering the meaning of what she sees may just save her life.
Picture the Dead, written by Adele Griffin and illustrated by Lisa Brown, intertwines the interest in spiritualism that was rampant during the American Civil War with the story of soldiers who fought in the war and the families they left behind. So many young men died in bloody conflict it's not surprising that their mothers, fathers and siblings sought to know if their loved ones found comfort on the other side. Photography had only recently been created, so it's maybe not surprising that people tied the mysteries that went on in a photographer's dark room with the mysteries of death.
Readers also see the precarious position that women of the times were often in. Dependent on the men in their lives for support, their entire futures could easily be turned upside down if a husband, father or brother died. During the Civil War, many of them did. Part historical fiction, part mystery, Picture the Dead is deliciously creepy and fun to read. Jennie keeps a scrapbook, and black-and white illustrations portray the things she secretes away: newspaper clippings, photographs, lists, letters, and notes from her twin. I highly recommend this book for mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 14 and up.'
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Posted May 22, 2010
This book surprised me! I think I was expecting a little bit more of a ghost story, which this story really isn't. You do get a little bit of that creepy feeling every once in awhile. But, it's more of a story about a young women coming to terms with the chaos and loss that surrounds her. I had a hard time getting into the story at first, and wasn't sure how I felt about the illustrations that came at the beginning of each chapter. But, the story builds into a wonderful mystery as you follow Jennie while she's trying to piece together what happened. What she discovers was not what I was expecting and the dramatic ending fit perfectly with the events that unfolded in the book. I enjoyed the spiritualistic aspect of the story. I could take or leave the illustrations though. They were an interesting addition to the story, but I found myself skipping them more than anything.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 11, 2011
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