Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dying To Meet You

Dying to Meet You (43 Old Cemetery Road: Book One)
by Kate Klise
illustrated by Sarah Klise
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co., 2009
review copy provided by the publisher

I love the Regarding the.... series by the Klise sisters, but sadly, I have never been able to get my fourth graders to share my love. I think I'll try this book as my next shared read aloud, and then we'll see if I can hook some readers into the Regarding the... series! (or at least the second book of this series -- Over My Dead Body)

Dying To Meet You is written like the Regarding the.... series, billing itself as "a collection of actual letter and documents written over the course of one summer and pertaining to the strange events that took place in a certain house located at 43 Old Cemetery Road in an otherwise quiet town called Ghastly, Illinois." As in the Regarding the.... books, the reader has to make lots of inferences, but the pages aren't quite so packed with information that might be pertinent to the story (or that might be there just to amuse the reader). The story line is more straight forward, and the letters and documents are more clearly linked.

A famous children's author moves into a Victorian mansion to finish the book he's working on. Unfortunately, he has a bad case of writer's block, and also unfortunately, he finds that the mansion is already occupied by a ghost and an 11 year-old boy who has been mostly abandoned by his globe-trotting parents. The writer, the ghost and the boy are at odds at first, but wind up working together towards a common goal.

One of my favorite things about this book are the puns with the names: Ghastly, Illinois; a children's book writer named I. B. Grumply; Anita Sale, a real estate agent; E. Gadds, a lawyer. And on, and on.

A very fun read for 3rd-6th graders.

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