Whisper in the Dark

Whisper in the Dark

3.8 9
by Joseph Bruchac, Sally Wern Comport
     
 

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Every monster can be overcome if you know the right way to go about it.

Maddy has always loved scary stories, especially the spooky legends of her Native American ancestors. But that was before she heard about the Whisperer in the Dark, the most frightening legend of all. Now there's an icy voice at the other end of the phone and a chilling message left on

Overview

Every monster can be overcome if you know the right way to go about it.

Maddy has always loved scary stories, especially the spooky legends of her Native American ancestors. But that was before she heard about the Whisperer in the Dark, the most frightening legend of all. Now there's an icy voice at the other end of the phone and a chilling message left on Maddy's door. Suddenly this ancient tale is becoming just a bit too real. Once, twice, three times he's called out to her. Where will she be when he finally calls her name?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Whisper in the Dark by Joseph Bruchac, illus. by Sally Wern Comport, which draws on Native American spooky legends, joins his The Dark Pond and Skeleton Man, about which PW wrote, "The mix of traditional and contemporary cultural references adds to the story's haunting appeal." Here Maddy, of Narragansett descent, finds an ancient legend coming true, as she recovers from an accident that killed her parents. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Maddy has always loved the Native American stories told by her Narragansett grandmother—especially the scary ones. Reassured by the strength of her loving parents, Maddy felt safe from every danger, even the scariest of story menaces, the "Whisperer in the Dark." Now, everything has changed. Her parents have died in an automobile accident that left Maddy without any strength in one arm. She is living with an aunt far from her old home. The only thing that brings her peace is her running. An accomplished member of her school track team, Maddy heads out to run whenever anything bothers her. Lately, she has been running a lot. First, there are the strange phone calls. Then, there is a cryptic message on the door of her house. Next, her dog is attacked. Maddy is sure that the Whisperer in the Dark is behind the violence. Can she and her friend Roger figure out how to stop him in time? 2005, HarperCollins, Ages 11 to 15.
—Heidi Hauser Green
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Thirteen-year-old Maddie, the descendant of a Narragansett sachem, lives with her aunt in Providence, RI. She and her friend Roger love to share scary stories, which helps her to deal with the trauma of her parents' recent death. Maddie doesn't quite believe her grandmother's tale of the Whisperer in the Dark, the Narragansett vampirelike creature who comes with his razor-sharp claws only after his victim is paralyzed by fear. Then she receives a frightening hang-up phone call. She and Roger discover the words "I'M HERE" scratched into her back door and soon find her dog cowering and covered with deep lacerations. In between hearing chilling whispers and seeing visions reflected in a window, Maddie tells Roger about the legend. When he suggests that her aunt might be in danger, the two friends rush home, and the book comes to an exciting conclusion. Maddie's narration is swift and spare, creating a mood of terror tempered by Narragansett words and chants of courage. The end of the story turns out to be logical and reassuring as a probably-not-supernatural maniac is brought to justice. This fast-paced, macabre novel is perfect for reluctant readers, youngsters who have graduated from R. L. Stine's "Goosebumps" series (Scholastic), and for those who might not otherwise encounter Bruchac's Indian legends.-Wendi Hoffenberg, Yonkers Public Library, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Fourteen year-old Maddy, who is half Narragansett Indian, is still dealing with the deaths of her parents in an accident that damaged her left arm when she begins to suspect she is being stalked by a monster from tribal folklore. She has always loved scary stories, especially those of her father's people and those by local celebrity H. P. Lovecraft. Thanks to her Grama Delia, Maddy knows the details of the story of The Whisperer in the Dark, a knife-fingered madman possessed by a demon. She receives menacing phone calls, something attacks her dog and her Aunt Lyssa vanishes. Maddy and her best friend Roger slowly unravel the mysterious events and she gains enough confidence in herself to face a very real demon. Bruchac's third short, creepy novel steeped in Native American legend suffers from some of the same problems as the last (The Dark Pond, 2004); the characterizations are thin, and the narrative pace staggers. However, reluctant readers in search of something spooky could definitely do worse. Final art not seen. (Fiction. 9-13). . . Cabot, MegREADY OR NOT: An All-American Girl NovelHarperCollins (256 pp.)$15.99PLB $16.89Aug. 1, 2005
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Paritcularly admirable in this short, fast read is Bruchac’s skill in using historical information to increase the suspense and round out the characters in this very scary story...chillingly effective.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Paritcularly admirable in this short, fast read is Bruchac’s skill in using historical information to increase the suspense and round out the characters in this very scary story...chillingly effective."
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“Paritcularly admirable in this short, fast read is Bruchac’s skill in using historical information to increase the suspense and round out the characters in this very scary story...chillingly effective.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Paritcularly admirable in this short, fast read is Bruchac’s skill in using historical information to increase the suspense and round out the characters in this very scary story...chillingly effective.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061920486
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/30/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Whisper in the Dark

Chapter One

Who's There?

The first call didn't really scare me. Not one bit. And why should it? The phone rang and I answered it.

"Hello."

Silence on the other end.

"Hello," I said again. "Hel-lo?" I was getting annoyed now. I tapped my numb left hand on the counter. A silence like that could mean that the person who called was hesitating because they had something really, really important to say. Maybe it was that reporter wanting to follow up on her article that had appeared last week about my running. It hadn't been a bad piece, despite its corny title: descendant of chiefs wins big meet. Or maybe it was great news — like that I'd won a prize or something.

Or maybe something awful. Maybe this was the kind of call where the person on the other end was hesitating because they have to tell you bad news. Like someone close to you has just been hurt or even died. I knew what that kind of call was like. That kind of call makes you hold onto the phone as if it was a lifeline, the only thing to keep from falling a long, long way into a deep, deep chasm. But hard as you hold onto it, a part of you is already falling and will never stop falling. I'm sorry is how the person on the other end of the line begins the conversation in that sort of call. Then they say there's been an accident. And from there on in, it never gets better again.

It wasn't that kind of call. Whoever was on the other end didn't say anything, good or bad. They just hung up.

But as soon as I put the phone down and started to walk away from it, it rang again.

"Hello. Hello? HELLO?"The third time I said it, a lot louder than I'd meant to, I was starting to feel both disgusted and dumb.

But I didn't hang up. By now I just knew what it had to mean. This was one of those dumb telemarketing calls that everyone gets. Any second now I'd hear someone mispronounce Aunt Lyssa's name and then ask for a donation or try to sell us something we don't need.

But there was no sales pitch. Just more silence. The kind of silence that told me someone really was there on the other end. I couldn't hear that person breathing, but I could hear him in another way. I heard him with the sixth sense my dad's side of the family believes in so strongly. Intuition is what Aunt Lyssa calls it, although I think it's more than that. It's a kind of knowing. It told me there was someone on the other end of the line, listening just as intently to me. And this is when I really should have hung up. But I didn't.

Maybe it was one of my friends playing a dumb joke. Or some bored kid just dialing numbers at random for a goof.

My friend Brittany and I used to do that sort of thing on Internet chat rooms. Her persona was Ingrid, a twenty-one-year-old Swedish model. Me, I only added on five years when I identified myself as Natasha, a mysterious eighteen-year-old Gypsy ballerina from Transylvania.

I say that Brittany and I used to do that. But she and her family moved away last year, all the way out to Seattle. For a while she e-mailed me and called whenever she had a chance. But that was only for the first few months. I guess she found a new best girlfriend pretty quick. Girls like Brittany always do. I hadn't heard a word from her for months. Still, when the call came, she was the first person I thought about, so I guess I'd been missing her.

"Brittany?" I said.

The silence on the other end somehow seemed more echoey, like the silence in a cave. It was a little spooky.

"Roger?" I said. "Is that you?"

The lack of response was feeling ominous. Even if it was the middle of the morning, a sunny summer's day, it seemed as if things were getting darker around me.

I just couldn't stand it any longer. "Who's there?" I demanded.

"I am," a voice whispered. "I'm coming for you."

It was a voice as cold as ice. I felt as if spiderwebs were brushing across my face. I tried to say something, but I couldn't speak.

Then the line went dead.

Whisper in the Dark. Copyright (c) by Joseph Bruchac . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Joseph Bruchac is the author of Skeleton Man, The Return of Skeleton Man, Bearwalker, The Dark Pond, and Whisper in the Dark, as well as numerous other critically acclaimed novels, poems, and stories, many drawing on his Abenaki heritage. Mr. Bruchac and his wife, Carol, live in upstate New York, in the same house where he was raised by his grandparents.


Sally Wern Comport has been making pictures professionally since the age of sixteen. Her images have been seen in the editorial, advertising, and publishing markets worldwide, and her work includes the picture book Brave Margaret: An Irish Adventure, by Robert D. San Souci. She lives in Annapolis, Maryland, with her studio partner -- husband and their two daughters, Taylor and Olivia, and she recently completed her graduate education at Syracuse University to further her passion for the art of illustration.

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Whisper in the Dark 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
MPSP More than 1 year ago
Not as exciting of a story as I had hoped for. Great writing and characters, but I felt as though the story just went flat towards the end. This could be because it is a short story, but it started out really good and I was hoping for more. May be a good story to turn into more of a novel and add some more excitement to it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Behind camp is where cats make dirt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ive neve.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my fav book!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good words
Guest More than 1 year ago
Whisper in the Dark is an okay book. I'd say the beginning and the middle was incredible! Once the author came to the ending, I disliked it very much. I think the author could of ended the book like One Missed Call, the movie. When the spirit never ends but the author made it like it all was kinda like an accident. Great beginning, terrible ending.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Perfect for the YA audience, this combination indian legend/vampire tale is a fast-paced read with characters that ring true (indian girl who listens to Eminem, etc.) I liked it -- but really more of an introduction to Bruchac's work -- I just want to read more by him ...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago