Review/Haunted Mysteries – The Crossroads by Chris Grabenstein

Review/Haunted Mysteries – The Crossroads by Chris GrabensteinThe Crossroads by Chris Grabenstein
Published by Yearling on May 12, 2009
Pages: 352

From the New York Times bestselling author of Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library and coauthor of I Funny and Treasure Hunters, comes a series of spine-tingling mysteries to keep you up long after the lights go out.
Zack, his dad, and new stepmother have just moved back to his father’s hometown, not knowing that their new house has a dark history. Fifty years ago, a crazed killer caused an accident at the nearby crossroads that took 40 innocent lives. He died when his car hit a tree in a fiery crash, and his malevolent spirit has inhabited the tree ever since. During a huge storm, lightning hits the tree, releasing the spirit, who decides his evil spree isn’t over . . . and Zack is directly in his sights.
Award-winning thriller author Chris Grabenstein fills his first book for younger readers with the same humorous and spine-tingling storytelling that has made him a fast favorite with adults.
★ “A rip-roaring ghost story.”—Booklist, Starred

I remember back in the day when I would stay up all night reading.  Nothing my parents would say would get me to stop. Page after page, my eyes tracking the words as fast as they could. My hands trembling to turn the pages faster and faster. I had to get to the end of the book.  I had to find out what was going to happen.  Would they make it?  Will they survive?  This is the very same feeling I had when reading “The Crossroads” by Chris Grabenstein, the best-selling author of “Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.”  I haven’t read a page turner like this in a very long time, not since the days of R.L. Stine’s “Fear Street” series and later on Dean Koontz.  Ironically, it took a book for young readers (ages nine to twelve) to make me lose sleep.

This is a story of how an accident at a crossroads, many years ago, haunts a young boy in the present.  History has a way of repeating itself…or in this case, coming back to life to complete unfinished business. The thread that connects each character in the book is fascinating.  Some characters not only share personal traits and DNA, but a connection that crosses over time as well.

As previously mentioned, I’ve read books like this when I was younger, in my early teens.  I believe that this should be the age group for this novel as well.  Some youngsters may miss some of the complexities of the story.  If purchasing this book for someone, I would recommend ages eleven to fourteen.

I did find the age of the young boy to be too young to experience what he did and to do things he that he had done.  I would have preferred the main character to be a little older.  It would have made the story more realistic to me.  This would also appeal to an older audience.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, however it kept me up way too late into the night.  I’ll have to wait until I’m on vacation to read the next one.