Tuesday, July 10, 2012

On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave by Candace Fleming

A young man takes a strange journey one dark evening. After giving a ride to a young woman, he discovers that the woman has been dead for many years. He finds himself in the cemetery where she's buried - a special cemetery for young people. As the ghosts of the dead souls gather around him, it becomes clear that they want to share their stories. These are the stories of how they went from people to ghosts; these are the stories of the day that they died.

I'm just blown away by Candace Fleming's versatility as a writer. She's written so many wonderful books for children, both younger readers and older readers. On the Day I Died is a great pick for readers who like a spooky atmosphere and mystery without it being too scary or full of gore. The stories of how each of these people died are inventive and creative. I preferred the ones that were more plausible in a real-life context (if a book about ghosts hanging out in a graveyard telling their stories can ever really be in a real-life context) than the ones that veered more into the supernatural, but there's a good balance for many different readers. Fleming's ability to write for different characters is on full display here, as different ghosts take on the language of their times (spanning well over a century). There are new interpretations of spooky standards (the person who gives a ride to someone who turns out to be a ghost, the Monkey's paw) along with lots of new twists and turns.  I've been hearing this book in some of the early Newbery discussions, so pick it up and check it out for yourself - if you dare.

Check out Candace Fleming's website.

I received an advance review copy from NetGalley courtesy of Random House Children's Books/Schwartz and Wade.

Find it at IndieBound. 

Read it with:
Amelia Lost by Candace Fleming
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn

No comments:

Post a Comment