Joseph Bruchac is the author of many critically acclaimed novels, poems, and stories, many drawing on his Abenaki heritage. Mr. Bruchac and his wife, Carol, live in upstate New York. You can visit him online at www.josephbruchac.com.
Gr 4-7-Mohawk teenager Molly discovers that her parents have gone missing in this novel by Joseph Bruchac (HarperCollins, 2001). While she is able to hide this fact for a while, Social Services soon become involved. They locate a man who says he is her great uncle and has photos of her parents in his wallet. Molly realizes they are the same photos that her father carried in his wallet. After being drugged by the first food that Uncle gives her, Molly is smart enough not to eat anything else that he prepares. The menacing man frightens Molly, always exhorting her to eat and get fat, locking her in her room at night, and never allowing her to see his face. A sympathetic teacher tries to help, but ultimately it is Molly's dreams and the Abenaki stories her father told her that save both Molly and her parents. Molly is an inherently sympathetic character, but for the first half of the narration Carine Montbertrand makes her sound unsympathetic and unpleasant. Those who read the book will find it a very scary story, but this narrated version doesn't give listeners the same frightening feeling. As the plot gets more intense, Montbertrand's pace fails to increase to reflect the tension. On the whole, the narration doesn't do justice to this genuinely scary story.-B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Memorial Library, Sag Harbor, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
"The mix of traditional and contemporary cultural references adds
to the story's haunting appeal, and the quick pace and suspence
will likely hold the interest of young readers."--Publishers
"An incredibly scary story that will make hearts beat and brows sweat."--School Library Journal (starred review)
"The legend is chilling--and the terror builds on every page. This book gave ME nightmares!"--R. L. Stine, New York Times bestselling author of the Goosebumps and Fear Street series