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Is Anybody There?

Is Anybody There?

3.5 11
by Eve Bunting

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Is anybody there?

For Marcus Mullen, being a latchkey kid is no bigdeal. Every day after school, he picks up his key from it's hiding place in the oak tree in the yard, and spends the afternoon working on his bike or cooking dinner for his mom and himself. It's been like that ever since his father died, and Marcus has never minded — until the day his key isn


Is anybody there?

For Marcus Mullen, being a latchkey kid is no bigdeal. Every day after school, he picks up his key from it's hiding place in the oak tree in the yard, and spends the afternoon working on his bike or cooking dinner for his mom and himself. It's been like that ever since his father died, and Marcus has never minded — until the day his key isn't there. That's noly the begining. Food disapppearing. Clocks and flashlights vanish. Suddenly nothing feels safe and comfortable anymore. Is anybody really there? Marcus knows he has to find out — ans soon!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Latchkey kid Michael is 13 and independent. Even though junior high school is no picnic, and his widowed mother seems to be getting awfully chummy with their tenant, Nick, Michael is pretty happy. Then, just before Christmas, he has the creepy sensation that someone is watching him. His key is missing for a while, and he keeps hearing suspicious noises in the house when he's there alone. In discovering the culpritNick's son (abducted by his mother after a bitter divorce years before)Michael realizes that he is lucky to have his mother, and potentially a decent stepfather. This well-crafted, high interest/low reading level novel promisesand deliversa first-rate story. Bunting's characterizations are strong and believable, and her attention to detail, like the descriptions of Michael's home-built bike and school friends, makes the book thoroughly satisfying. Ages 9-12. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8 A mildly scary story about a 14-year-old latchkey boy who discovers that someone is using his hidden house key. Tension builds as Marcus finds objects missing that negate common robberya clock, food, a sleeping bag. While the mystery takes center stage, two subplots involve Marcus' concern about his widowed mother's growing relationship with Nick, the man who lives upstairs, and Anjelica, a girl in his class who is interested in him. Characters are well drawn, particularly the mother and Nick, both of whom are well-meaning, caring people who obviously like and respect kids. Bunting does an admirable job of showing how time drags while Marcus waits in the empty house, as well as of developing Marcus' conflicting feelings about Nick and Anjelica. With its easy sentence structure and vocabulary and attention-getting first chapter, this is likely to have appeal to reluctant readers as well as non-demanding mystery fans. Trev Jones, ``School Library Journal''

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.35(d)
660L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

It was the week before Christmas when I first got the idea that someone was watching our house.

My name is Marcus Mullen. I'm thirteen years old, and I don't usually wimp out over just nothing. What made my creepy, crawly, eyes-on-the-back-of-my-neck feeling so silly was that it was morning. I mean, it wasn't even a dark and stormy night. The sun was shining and I was standing at the end of our driveway waiting for my friend, Robbie, to come by so we could walk to school together, the way we always do. The sky was a deep, calm blue. The thermometer on the porch said 76 degrees, typical for December 20 in Southern California. Mom had left for work already. I'd made sure the house was safely locked, and my key hidden where I always hide it, on a nub of the oak tree by the back door.

In other words, it was an ordinary morning So Why was I getting this weird feeling? I began an off-key whistle and turned a slow 360 degrees. The tall oleander hedge that grows between our house and the house next door where Miss Sarah and Miss Coriander Clark live was atwitter with small, busy birds. At the end of our driveway is the upstairs apartment, which Nick, our tenant, rents. I'd seen him leave for work already in his little green Dodge. Nick teaches phys. ed. and coaches football at La Costa High. His door was closed, his miniblinds tightly shut. I get bad vibes even thinking about Nick and the way he and my mom have started moon gazing at each other, so I let myself look past his apartment, skimming over our house to the neighbor's roof on the other side. The roof is all you can see from here because of the oak tree and the thick shrubbery thatNick says he's goi ng to thin out one of these days. He takes care of the garden as part of his rent. I turned some more. On the other side of the street the Dellarosa house stood quietly in the sun. Nobody was watching me from there. Not even their old dog, Patchin, was in sight.

I stopped whistling. Of course nobody was watching me. I gave my shoulders a little shake and beganjogging in place. Then I saw Robbie coming around the corner from Sherwood, where he lives, and I rushed to meet him. I didn't say anything about the creepies I'd had while I waited. What was there to say, anyway? Actually, I almost forgot about my feeling. It wasn't until later, thinking back, that I remembered it began that morning.

The last day of school before Christmas vacation is always great. I decided not to spoil it worrying about something that was probably all in my imagination. Ms. Hansen, our teacher, let us play a bunch of games — like Heads Up, Seven Up and Benjamin Franklin — and then she read us the end of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. It's a funny story, and she'd timed it just right so we'd have the last chapter on the last day. We were getting into what Ms. Hansen calls a "meaningful discusslon" about the book when the bell rang.

"Everybody go quietly now to the cafetorium," Ms. Hansen shouted over the din. "And please behave' nicely during the performance. That means you, too, Robbie Roberts."

Robbie rolled his eyes. "Yes, Ms. Hansen." He turned to me. "Can you believe we're going to have the Pacific High School Christmas Program again this year?" We have had the Pacific High School Program every Christmas through elementary school and even kindergarten. "If they do'Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer' one more time, I'm going to throw up," Robbie told me.

Anjelica Trotter nodded. "Really! Especially if that guy comes prancing out with his nose all lit up." She groaned a great groan; Robbie and I pretended we didn't hear.

Anjelica Trotter has become a total pain. I don't know what her problem is. She's always hanging around Robbie and me, especially me. She wears a ton of makeup and she has I Love Somebdy printed in big letters on the spine of her notebook. Every time she sees me in the halls or at the lockers, she holds up the notebook and smiles. I guess I'm supposed to figure I'm the "somebody." It's weird, because right up through sixth grade Anjelica was ok She didn't wear makeup or anything, and I used to kind of like her, to tell the truth. I don't like her anymore. At least, I don't think I do.

"What kind of lipstick is that you're wearing, Anjelica?" Robbie asked her. It was some strange stuff all right, a mixture of green and red.

"Like it?" Anjelica asked Robbie, batting her eyes at me. "It's called 'Color Me Christmas.1 '"

"It looks as if you've been sucking on a candy cane," Robbie said.

"It is peppermint flavor," Anjelica told me, although I wasn't the one who'd asked.

I swear Anjelica has gotten really spaced. Robbie says it's because her hormones are growing up too, but I think she's flipped out. She even came to my house one day after school. I'd been working in our garage on the bike I'm making Mom for Christmas, and when I opened our front door and saw Anjelica Trotter there, I just about died.

I found your math book on a bench in the playground," Anjelica said. "I thought you might need it, so I brought, it over."

"Oh, thanks." I felt my face going white. "It would have been ok tomorrow, though. We don't have math homework."

"I know. I just thought you might want to study." She'd raised her four eyebrows. I wasn't sure four was the fashion now or if she'd made a mistake trying to darken her own.

"Can I come in?" she asked.

Meet the Author

Eve Bunting was born in Ireland and came to California with her husband and three children. She is one of the most acclaimed and versatile children's book authors, with more than two hundred novels and picture books to her credit. Among her honors are many state awards, the Kerlan Award, the Golden Kite Award, the Regina Medal, the Mystery Writers of America and the Western Writers of America awards, and a PEN International Special Achievement award for her contribution to children's literature. In 2002, Ms. Bunting was chosen to be Irish-American Woman of the Year by the Irish-American Heritage Committee of New York.

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Is Anybody There? 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i love this book! Its suspensful, exciting, and even a little bit sad. It's great! ô¿ô
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
is anybody there? I just read the book called Is Anybody There? by Eve Bunting. This book talks about a kid named marces who is twelve and thinks stuff has been going on in his apartment.Marces persuades that a teacher named Nick is taking or steling marceses moms things like clokes.one day marces was walking home from school and when he arived home marces was looking for his key when suddley....................he found his key on the wronge nub of the tree!Marces thinks somthing fishy is going on.Marces goes depper he tries to find evidence from nick to see if he will speke some evidance Marces nedds.One day marces was resting when he heard somewon in the gareg then marces opens the door slowly the ligts flike on it was.....NICK!!!shouted marces,nick just stode and ran to his apartmant.if you love mystery scary and fanesty,this is just the book for you. I give this book five and a half stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i loved this book...i read it in elementry school..as a summer reading book. it LOVED IT..i kept me thinking about who or 'what' is in the attic..when you do find out who or 'what' is in the attic your like...'wo0o0ow!! its totally out of the blue.' ITS A REALLY GREAT BOOK...
Guest More than 1 year ago
i read this book in elementry school..as a summer reading book (school made us read a book during the summer) and i thought i was a really good book. I wasnt easy to figure out that was in the attic..so0o0o0o if u like books that keep u thinking then this is a greatbook for you. its not only like something is happening, who is it.. there are also like funny part..but in the end its a happy story...well if you like happy thing..some people might think it was a HORRIBLE end..but i thought it was....O.K.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is anybody in there By: Eve Bunting,The book is a story about a kid named Marcus is also the Protagonist. Marcus always puts his key in a tree on a certain nub. But one day he comes home from school and looks for the key and does'nt find it in its usual place. So he starts to panic and thinks that somebody is watching him. But he later finds the key and eveything goes back to normal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was about a kid named Marcus that lives with his mom and theres another guy that lives upstairs his name is Nick. Marcus doesnt trust him because he thinks hes stealing his stuff from his room. Marcus is always hearing stuff in the garage and in his room. Hes always mad because his mom gves Nick the house key. Then food is missing from his house and his clock.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was about a boy named Marcus Mullen who left his key under his tree. After school he will always grab it from under the Tree. Only he new wer it was. Things start missing like food, clocks, and also flashlights. He goes to the attic to se if anyone is up there. To find out who it is read Is Anybody There by Eve Bunting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it is an ok book but it isnt the best book i have ever read. if you read it now its the right season. the first couple of pages are boring and the rest are ok. the end is great. you figue out who marcus the main charictar is hearing. i wouldnt recomend this book because its kind off boring.i would recomend this book to people who like great and happy endings you find out who blake is and that angelica trotter likes him. At the end she wants a kiss. i thought it was going to be better than it was. you also learn the lesson to keep on trying nomater what anybody sais.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It has a good start but then it gets boring