Summary: From moving to a new house to making new friends and preparing for high school, life for the new girl in town can be unsettling. But thirteen year-old Courtney is unprepared for how creepy life in Murmur, Massachusetts turns out to be. Her ivy-covered house overlooking the antiquated cemetery next door is one thing, but Courtney finds herself thrust into a full-fledged haunted adventure after meeting Christian and Margaret Geyer, a strange father and daughter with unfinished family business. The body of their ancestor, Prudence, has gone missing from beneath her ivy-carved tombstone and must be returned to its final resting place in order to break the spell that looms over Courtney’s house. To add to the suspense and help solve the mystery, authentic documents and photographs are set at the beginning of each chapter pertaining to Murmur, Courtney’s house, and the infamous cemetery. Will Courtney uncover the secret lurking within the dark, dank underbelly of her ivy-covered basement? -- Running Press/The Perseus Book Group
A few weeks ago, I heard about the book CREEPERS by Joanne Dahme from Cindy at the Mother Daughter Book Club. I immediately requested a copy because I am always on the lookout for potential discussion books for our Mother-Daughter Book Club. I had a feeling that this book about ghosts might be a little too old for our girls, but I figured that it wouldn't be too long until they were ready to read it. Plus, I was in the mood for a little ghost story considering that Halloween is drawing near.
After reading CREEPERS, I would say that this book is perfect for middle school or junior high aged kids. It is a fairly quick read, and I think it will capture a child's interest right away. I loved the character of Courtney, and I think many children will relate to her. She is a very bright and inquisitive young girl who knows that something isn't quite right about her new friends, Margaret and Christian. As the new girl in town in the middle of the summer (with not much to do), she throws herself into helping her friends uncover the secret of her ivy-covered basement. I enjoyed that the book was written in Courtney's voice. I think the reader really gets to understand Courtney, and it's exciting to see the mystery through her eyes.
This book definitely held my interest. I had a hard time putting the book down because I was so curious about the secrets of Prudence and the witch. I wouldn't say that this book was downright scary, and I'm pretty sure that it wouldn't give my daughter nightmares; but it was "creepy." (I mean that in a very good way.) I think kids will love the suspense of the story, the family secrets, and the mysterious characters.
The book does contain some picture, newspaper clippings, letters, journal entries, etc. that really added to my enjoyment of the novel. I think the visuals helped to set the tone and give some additional insight into the text of the story. The cover of the book is also beautiful. There is a lighter green ivy plant on the cover, but there is also a less obvious textured, shiny ivy plant too (hidden you might say.) In addition, many of the pages within the book have green ivy crawling across the pages. Ivy was a huge part of this story -- in essence, it became another character; and I thought the use of the ivy artwork really enhanced the book and its ivy theme.
CREEPERS did keep me guessing right until the end. I'm not sure that everything I wanted to know about the story was fully resolved, but I think that's one of the main reasons that I enjoyed this book so much. There are definitely lots of things to think about and different ways to interpret the ending. I think these questions that remained in my mind would make for a very interesting discussion at a future mother-daughter book club!
Running Press/The Perseus Book Groups have graciously offered to giveaway fifteen copies of CREEPERS! If you would like to receive a copy, please e-mail geri(dot)ditella(at)perseusbooks(dot)com with “Creepers – complimentary copy" in the subject line. Make sure that you include that you heard about this contest from "Booking Mama" as well your name and mailing address. The first fifteen who respond will receive a free book -- so hurry!
P.S. - The contest is officially closed! All fifteen books have been claimed!
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