Who's Buried in the Garden?


An entertaining novel for young adults ages 11 - 15 that explores the ramifications of making bad decisions. What do you do when you know your best friend is a liar & he tells you there is a body buried in someone's garden? Dig up the supposed grave or call the police? Fast-paced & exciting for middle school students!

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An entertaining novel for young adults ages 11 - 15 that explores the ramifications of making bad decisions. What do you do when you know your best friend is a liar & he tells you there is a body buried in someone's garden? Dig up the supposed grave or call the police? Fast-paced & exciting for middle school students!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Leona Illig
Seventh-grader Joshua is skeptical when his friend, Artie, tells him that a neighbor has murdered her husband and buried him in the backyard. Peer pressure and misplaced loyalty get the better of him, however, and he decides to help his friend find and dig up the body. It takes a near-fatal car accident before Joshua realizes that not all friendships are created equal, and that everyone, even people very different from him, deserve respect and honesty. Set in a Texas community of Hispanics and whites, this book touches on the themes of cultural diversity and racial tension. There are numerous references to pop culture and slang, as well as some suggestive language. There is also a non-sentimental description of death. Written in the first person, the book tries to accurately portray life from the point of view of a twelve-year-old boy living in the middle of two different cultures. While the female characters are presented as modern and realistic, and a few are portrayed as role models, the book is likely to appeal more to boys than to girls. It would be an excellent book for boys who find themselves conflicted by competing interests and who are beginning to realize that the choices that they make will affect not only their own lives but also the lives of people around them. Reviewer: Leona Illig
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7–Seventh-grader Joshua Ramírez has been friends with Artie Mendoza since kindergarten and knows that he is always telling lies. When Artie starts insisting that Mrs. Foley killed her husband, Joshua is hesitant to believe him. One day, however, they overhear a conversation between the woman and one of her friends about poison, Mr. Foley, and someone being dead, dead, and gone. Could she have killed her husband or is Artie just a big, fat liar? Although the book is moderately paced and the characters seem a little one-dimensional at first, this is still an intriguing tale that will capture readers’ imaginations. They will also like the lighthearted humor and wrestling antics that have been integrated into the story. The sprinkling of Spanish words reflects Joshua’s Hispanic neighborhood in Texas.–Kira Moody, Hunter Public Library, West Valley City, UT
Kirkus Reviews
Seventh grader Joshua Ramirez knows he shouldn't believe Artie Mendoza's story: Mrs. Foley surely didn't murder her husband and bury him in her flower garden. Still, there is that mound of dirt that looks like a grave. And what heroes they and their buddy Wolf Man would be to uncover such a scandal. What risks could there be in digging up the garden to find out? It's a thin premise for a novel, but it turns out that the mystery of who's buried in the garden is just a device to pull readers into a story that's really about friendship and making the right choices in life. Joshua learns who his real friends are and ultimately tells Artie, "¡Largate de aqu', burro!" ("Get lost, jackass"). Though the story turns didactic to drive home the message, it's a solid glimpse at seventh-grade life from a writer who understands the age-biography reports, friendships made and lost, crushes, misbehavior and, sometimes, quiet heroism. This story of three Latino boys with Stephen King-ish imaginations ought to find a wide audience. (Fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558855465
  • Publisher: Arte Publico Press
  • Publication date: 6/19/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 155
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 630L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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