January 28, 2009

Book Review: Haunting of Derek Stone: City of the Dead

Posted by at 6:23 am in Reads | Permalink

Cityofthedead_130 A note of caution: when a book is dedicated “To Those No Longer Here,” it's probably going to be a scary book.

The Haunting of Derek Stone is a new series by Tony Abbott for kids ages 9-13, and its first installment, City of the Dead, is out in bookstores this month. I picked it up one night before bed, while it was snowing and I was home alone. Just a few minutes into reading it, the lights in my apartment flickered, and the creaking and moaning of my heater came on at full volume. I was SPOOKED, y'all.

But as I read on, it became clear that I would have been spooked even without the flickering lights, softly falling snow, and empty apartment. That's because City of the Dead is the perfect sort of scary book: it's mysterious, enthralling, and entertaining, but it's not too gory or gross. It's fast-paced but told in a personable, addictive tone.

Fourteen-year-old Derek lives in New Orleans, a city known for its legendary haunted history. Derek has an older brother, Ronnie, and a dad who likes trains. He has a mom, too, but she left the family years Bayoudogsago. (These details are important to the story!) In his practical, confessional way, Derek leads us through  the events that set off his haunting — even as he himself repeats that he doesn't believe in ghosts!

I'm SO not giving away the story, since I encourage you all to check it out for yourselves, but I will say this: City of the Dead ends abruptly, without any answers or conclusions but with plenty of new questions. Book 2, Bayou Dogs, isn't out until March, but it, too, has an interesting dedication: “To Those We See Again.” A clue to the next adventure Derek faces, maybe? We'll just have to wait and see!

— Morgan, Scholastic Staffer

  1. tessa

    im only 11. and i just got thes book. and im all ready intrested in thes book. im srching online.i relly whnt to see a move about it.a exact replica of it.i rilly love hes book.oh i mean books.i just got them and i have all 4 books.1 2 3 and 4.:) (^^^^) llllllllllllllllllllllllllllooooooooooooooooooooooooovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. claudia

    Is good so far , not so scary for me , I’m in book 3 is awsome . childrens can read , but make sure you dont much scary .I like the story and I hope you will also like it , BYE .

  3. annomis

    Read that book its so good you cant put it down as you turn pages things start un-reavling them selves

  4. Jackie

    Well I had problems looking for a intresting book. Not one boring. So when i saw the book the haunting of derek stone:City of the Dead I thought it might be okay. But I was wrong. It was an amazing book. I love the book! It was mysterious but thrilling at the same time. I finally got to read all the series and could’t belive i was done. I just want to thank Mr. Abott for creating such astounding books. Thx!

  5. Tony

    Hi, Morgan. Thanks for your lovely review. Even I get spooked when I see how the plot is going. Poor Derek! There are more, and bigger, mysteries to come for him. Stay tuned!
    Tony Abbott

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