- Publisher: Random House USA Inc
- Format: Paperback | 329 pages
- Dimensions: 132mm x 191mm x 25mm | 227g
- Publication date: 12 May 2009
- Publication City/Country: New York, NY
- ISBN 10: 0375846980
- ISBN 13: 9780375846984
- Edition statement: Reprint
- Sales rank: 272,139
â ""A rip-roaring ghost story.""--Booklist, "Starred " 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.
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Chris Grabenstein is the Anthony Award-winning author of "Tilt a Whirl, Mad Mouse," and "Whack a Mole." He used to write TV and radio commercials and has written for the Muppets. Currently, Chris and his wife live in New York City with three cats and a dog named Fred, who starred in "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang "on Broadway. You can visit him (and Fred) at www.chrisgrabenstein.com.
By TeensReadToo 01 Oct 2010
There's a tree that stands watch over the crossroads of County Route 13 and Connecticut State Highway 31. There's a memorial on the tree. Someone leaves a dozen fresh roses there every Monday. And the tree is at the back edge of Zack Jennings's new yard.
Zack, his father, and his new step-mother have left the city and moved to Connecticut. Zack lost his mother to cancer, and now that his father has remarried, the family is making a new start in Zack's father's hometown. They have a brand new house, Zack got a new dog, Zipper, and things with his step-mom might actually be okay.
But there's something strange going on in the town. Zack has a new friend, Davy. They have great adventures together, but it always seems like Zack is the one doing the hard work while Davy comes up with the plans. Judy, Zack's step-mom, gets a flat tire on the deserted highway and a Greyhound employee comes to offer aide. Though like with Davy, he can tell her how to fix it but he just can't do the work himself.
At the same time, the 50th-anniversary of a horrific bus accident at the intersection is about to occur. At the heart of the accident is Clint Eberhart. Trying to finish business with his first wife, the bus goes off the road and bursts into flames. The Thunderbird that Clint was driving smashes into the same tree that now holds a memorial dedicated to him.
Through the shrine that is kept at the tree, all the participants of that awful night fifty years ago are kept bound to the earth. It seems Zack has been the one chosen to help them release their souls. The only problem -- Zack doesn't know he's been chosen, nor does he even know that the spirits exist. At least he doesn't in the beginning...
THE CROSSROADS is a heart-pounding, page-turning ghost story that will keep even the strong-willed awake long after the last page has been turned. Clint Eberhart is pure evil, and the spirit and perseverance of one young boy is all it takes to face off against him. The book flows quickly with short chapters to keep the action constantly moving. The book is easy enough for most readers, but because of the ghosts and some of the scary content, I selected the older age group as a recommendation for readers.
Starred review, Booklist, May 1, 2008: "An absorbing psychological thriller . . . as well as a rip-roaring ghost story." "From the Hardcover edition."