Frightful Friday is a weekly meme in which I feature a particularly scary or chilling book that I’ve read that week. This week, I’m featuring a book reviewed by my oldest son, John-John: Gravediggers: Mountain of Bones by Christopher Krovatin!
- Reading level: Ages 8 and up
- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (September 11, 2012)
- ISBN-10: 0062077406
- Source: Publisher
A group of middle school students head to a week-long camp in Montana called Homeroom Earth. They are there to study plants and wildlife in a natural setting. Early on, they are warned not to leave the watchful eyes of the teacher. But, like many kids their age, they don’t listen.
Ian is a jock who wants to be popular and liked by everyone. PJ is obsessed with movies, always with a video camera in hand. Kendra is a techie geek, warned by her parents to socialize with people in real life instead of those on the dozens of message boards she follows. Ian and PJ are friends, though Ian denies this because he is afraid of being made fun of. Kendra’s not really friends with anyone…anyone at her school at least. The three are forced to work together as a group and start their camping trip by collecting wildflowers. Ian sees an animal in the distance and begins chasing after it. PJ and Kendra follow and it’s not long before they realize they are lost. Kendra just lost her cell phone so she can’t use the technology she’s grown used to to find their way back to camp.
After hiking for hours, crossing a pretty mysterious looking wall, they come across an abandoned cabin. They think they are safe but they couldn’t be further from the truth. Inside, they find a strange journal telling the story of another group, long reported missing. The entries they read are terrifying, quickly dying off before they can get any answers. In the basement, they find a set of human bones. Then, outside, they see a rambling group of what looks like to be people. They think they’ve been rescued but are startled to see that the group walking toward them are actually…zombies!
For two days Ian, PJ, and Kendra run from the zombies, looking for a witch they read about in the journal, a witch that should be their salvation.
I admit it; I tend to be a bit of a wimp when it comes to read anything involving zombies, ghosts….anything that’s not normal. My mom loves this sort of stuff. She has a whole bookshelf filled with scary books. But, she read this book before I did, promising that I wouldn’t be too scared so I gave it a chance.
When I started reading, I thought the three main characters were going to live up to all the rumors about jocks and nerds. I admit, I may have rolled my eyes a few times. Soon, though, my feelings changed. While Ian was a jock, he wasn’t really rude or mean. Kendra was a bit annoying at first: she doesn’t like to be wrong (ever!) and likes to use a bunch of big words. The real nerd, in my opinion, was PJ. Not a part of the cool crowd but not really a full-blown nerd, he was the one that I liked the most. It didn’t seem like he had a very active part in the story, other than filming nearly everything that happened. In the end, though, he was the one who saved the others. Finally, a story where the nerd saves the day!!
While there were parts where they story was a bit scary (hello, zombies!) I think the author did a great job of keeping the scare-factor under control. This makes this book a perfect read for someone who wants to read about zombies but not get too scared. Also, since the story is told by the three kids, I think a lot of kids will connect and enjoy this book. Finally I can say I read a book about zombies (and I didn’t have a single nightmare!)
Apparently this is the first book in a new series. I can’t wait to read more!
Tags: Frightful Friday, Harper Collins Publishers, Horror, Kid-Lit/Middle Grade, middle grade, Review, zombies