Search for the Shadowman

Search for the Shadowman

4.5 42
by Joan Lowery Nixon

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For fans of Gillian Flynn, Caroline Cooney, and R.L. Stine comes Search for the Shadowman from four-time Edgar Allen Poe Young Adult Mystery Award winner Joan Lowery Nixon.
        Twelve-year-old Andy Thomas isn’t thrilled with his teacher’s assignment to explore family history. But when he starts asking


For fans of Gillian Flynn, Caroline Cooney, and R.L. Stine comes Search for the Shadowman from four-time Edgar Allen Poe Young Adult Mystery Award winner Joan Lowery Nixon.
        Twelve-year-old Andy Thomas isn’t thrilled with his teacher’s assignment to explore family history. But when he starts asking questions about his ancestors, he is surprised to discover a black sheep named Coley Joe Bonner. No one wants to discuss what happened in the family’s past. Everyone, including Andy’s own relatives, advises him to stop his investigation. But Andy continues and searches everywhere, from the Internet to the local cemetery, to discover the truth. Will Andy’s search hurt those he loves or make them realize that it’s never too late to seek social justice?
“A riveting tale of suspense set against a background of fascinating historical context.” –School Library Journal
“Hints of disgrace and treachery…children will read the story for the fun of guessing who is warning Andy off the case.” –Booklist

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An assignment to research his family history leads a boy to discover an intriguing secretbut to solve the mystery he may risk hurting those he loves. Ages 8-12. (May)
Children's Literature - Mary Sue Preissner
Nixon has turned a tedious school assignment into an exciting quest. As 12-year old Andy interviews various family members in order to record his family's oral history, he learns more about them and the settlement of Texas in the 1800's. Moreover, his investigation is met with stonewalling, threats, admonishments, difficult decisions and plenty of adventure. Outlaws, graveyard walking, the Internet, and a pair of elderly aunts are woven into this tension-packed story of one boy's determination to complete a school assignment while proving that his relative Coley Joe is innocent, and rewriting history in the process.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-A thrilling search through a family's dark past. What starts out as a simple family-history project turns into an obsessive hunt for the truth behind an old family feud. Andy Bonner is determined to get to the bottom of a mystery involving an ancestor who had supposedly stolen his parents' money and been disowned. The more he learns from his Great Aunt Winnie and her nemesis, his best friend's great-grandmother, the more he needs to know. His investigation takes him from the World Wide Web to the town cemetery, to family sources who refuse to talk. As usual, Nixon's main character is an ordinary kid with extraordinary resourcefulness. When Andy learns the truth, he must decide whether to keep the secret to himself, or destroy the reputation of the town's founding father and hurt his best friend. Nixon has once again delivered a riveting tale of suspense set against a background of fascinating historical context, brought up to date through e-mail and the Internet.-Julie Halverstadt, Douglas Public Library District, Castle Rock, CO
Kirkus Reviews
The sleepy Texas town of Hermosa where Andy, 12, lives has harbored a shameful secret for more than a century; when Andy starts to research his family history for a school assignment, he becomes intrigued by the status of one of his ancestors, who has been scratched out of the family Bible and of whom no one—not even Great- Aunt Winnie—will speak. Apparently Cole Joseph Bonner committed a deed so dastardly that he was disowned. Andy tackles the secret with the help of his best friend, J.J., the town librarian, Mrs. Alonzo, and genealogy experts he contacts on the Internet. Once he solves the mystery of Coley Joe, who is said to have stolen the family fortune, but who was really shot in the back and robbed by the founding member of one of Hermosa's fine old families, Andy realizes that to reveal what he knows will harm other people.

Hooey. Readers will never buy that all these years later; Andy, by fudging his findings publicly, commits the same sin of covering up that the murderer did. From veteran Nixon (Spirit Seeker, 1995, etc.), this is a bland, homespun mystery without enough suspense to lace a shoe, let alone a history project. The feuding of two old women (almost as interchangeable in personality as in their names—Miz Minna and Miss Winnie) never gains credibility, and the linking of the old (genealogy) with the new (the Internet) feels like a gimmick.

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.19(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.33(d)
780L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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Read an Excerpt

An Excerpt from Search for the Shadowman

        The minute the bell rang in history class the next morning, Mr. Hammergren
        asked, "How many of you have begun your interviews with relatives?"

        Lee Ann Dooley waved a hand. "I can't! My grandma in Florida just got
        married again and is off on a honeymoon. And my grandma who lives in a
        rest home can't remember much of anything."

        "Then ask your parents if they've heard any of your grandparents' stories.
        Go back as far as you can. Maybe your family history will begin when your
        parents were children."

        "Everyone else has grandparents." Lee Ann's lower lip curled outward.
        Her glance fixed on J.J. "Or even a great-grandparent."

        "Tell you what," Mr. Hammergren said. "I'll let you borrow my grandmother.
        She won't know any stories about your family, but she can tell you about
        riding streetcars when she visited the big city and canning vegetables
        and making jam and sewing all the clothes for a family of six girls..."

        Luke Martin raised his hand. "I've got a problem, Mr. Hammergren," he
        said. "When my mom's father was young, he got in a fight and went to jail.
        Mom said under no circumstances could I put that in my report."

        "I certainly don't expect you to include every single family story you
        discover," Mr. Hammergren said. "Record the best. Make your report interesting.
        And remember that it's better to leave some things out of the report."

        "Like the mystery man." Andy realized he had spoken aloud when some of
        the kids turned and looked at him.

        "What mystery man?" Lee Ann asked.

        Andy carefully gave his explanation. "He's one of my dad's relatives,
        from way back in the eighteen hundreds. His birthdate was listed in the
        family Bible, but then his name was crossed out. My great-aunt Winnie
        first said he never existed. Then she told me not to ask questions about
        him because she wouldn't answer them."

        "Then I'd suggest you forget this mystery relative," Mr. Hammergren said.
        "This report is not intended to cause family problems."

        But Andy's mind was on Coley Joe. He wasn't about to forget him.

Meet the Author

Joan Lowery Nixon was the author of more than 130 books for young readers and was the only four-time winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Best Young Adult Mystery Award. She received the award for The Kidnapping of Christina LattimoreThe SéanceThe Name of the Game Was Murder, and The Other Side of the Dark, which also won the California Young Reader Medal. Her historical fiction included the award-winning series The Orphan Train Adventures, Orphan Train Children, and Colonial Williamsburg: Young Americans.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Search for the Shadowman 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Search for the Shadowman by (Joan Lowry Nixon) is a book about a boy named Andy. Andy is given an assingment by his history teacher Mr. Hammergren to research his family. This book is fiction with a lot of suspence. Andy discovers that he has a distant relative that is accused of stealing the family fortune. He wants to get to the bottom of it and tries to talk to his Great Aunt, realizing that his Great Aunt does't want to talk about it, he decides that she must be hiding something. Andy is determined to find the truth, but when he does, he is afraid of sharing it, and hurting his town and his family. I find Nixon's books enjoyable and her characters very real. Her books center around kids by age, so they are easy for me to relate to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hi! I'm reading this book for school and I just finished it yesterday! I must say that it was outstanding! I recommend EVERYONE to read this book!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wasn't a big fan of itnot as interesting as I hoped the title is kinda misleading and the book was just boring
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I want more nook friends
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this in 3rd grade. I'm in 7th grade now. Best Book ever! I hope everyone will enjoy this as much as I did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honestly the book could have been longer.not enough description
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AUGGGGGGG.I love it Singhed, Taylor
Guest More than 1 year ago
This one boy who was at school. HE had a project for his family. He decided to do on eon Coley Joe Bonner. Yeah his search well it wasn't a real search. It was like a lawyer trying to fid evidence on him. Andy's grandma said that he stole the the family money and rode west. But he kept on tryin gto find out if he did or not. He he ask this man like alot of questions. HE told him alot of things about the Bonner family. But he didn't tell everything like why he was kicked out the family. But someon etold him to look in the newspaper in Texas papers and look up the war San Elizor. There was four people killed but we know that coley joe was one of them. HE printed it out and told his grandma that he didn't ride west. Plau he didn't steal the family money. She was vary mad at him. He had evidence to prove he was inocent. Andy told Coley's mother the truth of what happened to Coley.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is awesome! This book is about a boy who is assigned a history project to look up his family's past. He finds out that there is a black sheep in his family named Coley Joe. He tries to look up more, but he risks to hurt the ones he loves.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book is a great book for kids and adults. It will make you want to read it over and over again. When you read this book it will very well inspire you. This book is one of the very few that I think it should be rated #1.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the great book search for the Shadowman a kid named Andy is assigned a history report. He gets information on someone who was crossed out of his family tree, and his teacher says that he may do his report on that instead of the original project. He uncovers a murder committed over one hundred years ago. Guess who the murder was, Andy¿s best friend¿s Great-great-great-grandfather.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is about a boy named Andy and he has to do a family history project. When he asks his grandmother about she gives him a box of old stuff. When Andy finds a family bible and sees that one of his family members is crossed out he uncovers a family mystery. He goes through scary letters, threatening phone calls, and warnings to stay away. But his eagerness won¿t stop at anything! YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Search for the Shadowman was a great kept me so excited I did not want to put the book down. The book is awesome!All I wanted to know was what came next.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book is the best book that I have ever read!!!! It really made me want to read on , and on , and on! I talked about it all day because I thought it was so cool! I also thought it was cool because their was never a time that I was bored with the book. I have told everyone about this book and will keep on doing it! This book will definitely be one of my greatest memories.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When our teacher handed out the book, I always read ahead because it always kept you on the edge of your seat. Not only was it exciting, the book encourages you to look into your own family's past. Andy is a good example of not giving up, and always defending what you think is right.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Search For The Shadow man was an AWESOME book!!! I love mysteries. The way the book began and how it ended was really good. The way Andy didn¿t tell on his friend was really good. And the way the story began when he just found out clues was great. You don¿t know what happens next. I love this book. Everybody should read this book!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Search for the Shadowman was an awesome book! It really kept me curious! I really liked how Andy was so curious to. I couldn¿t put it down! When my teacher said that we would stop here I always wanted to know what happened next! It was a really exciting mystery just like I like them!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is very good, exciting, and joyful all in one. The whole thing started out with a family project. Andy (the main character) Finds out about a mysteries family member. No one will tell him anything about that mysterious person. Now you need to figure out what Andy is going to do? You will find some hard dissensions he has to make.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Search For the Shadowman The book is about a kid named Andy and he has to do a genealogy report about his family¿s history. He finds out that he has a unwanted cousin name Coley Joe, and he try¿s to tell his family that Coley Joe didn¿t steal his family¿s money. He gets notes that are threatening him about the research on Coley Joe. He finally gets proof that Coley Joe didn¿t steal the money it turned out he was shot in the head robbed by James Jonathan Gasper, but it was his best friends great-great-great grandfather and the town was nick named by James Jonathan Gasper and so it was really Coley Joe¿s family that named the town.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that Search for the Shadowman was great. It was very intense. Andy¿s curiosity definitely kept me curious!!! I will definitely tell a lot of people to read it. It was just that fabulous!!