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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, lig 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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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, lig 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.

30 review for The Crossroads

  1. 5 out of 5

    jv poore

    This is exactly the type of book I searched for when I was in Middle Grade. I loved this fast-paced, spooky, suspenseful story which was sweetened by a pretty amazing step-mom who inherently trusted her 10-year-old step-son, in spite of his tendency to weave wild tales.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    I was very torn on how to rate this story. It is definitely a page turner, full of action and spooky moments. Then there were other moments that were so intense that I found it difficult to remember that the intended audience is middle graders. I would suggest to any parent or teacher who is thinking about letting their children read this to take into consideration how sensitive their children may be to certain topics. While the author doesn't always go into depth, some of the subjects covered ar I was very torn on how to rate this story. It is definitely a page turner, full of action and spooky moments. Then there were other moments that were so intense that I found it difficult to remember that the intended audience is middle graders. I would suggest to any parent or teacher who is thinking about letting their children read this to take into consideration how sensitive their children may be to certain topics. While the author doesn't always go into depth, some of the subjects covered are a deadly bus crash, a womanizing and vengeful ghost, possession, murder, fire, suicide, and on more than one occasion people are shot to death by the police. One of the nicer things I liked about this book was the relationship between the main character Zach and his new stepmother, Judy. It was refreshing to see that the author had not used the same old cliche of children not liking or not getting a long with a new stepparent. It was definitely different from some of the other ghost stories I have read, but there were a few moments that I thought were just a little too much.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Wardrip

    Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com 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 fathe Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com 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.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Here's a good tween ghost story with a lot of plot twists and some creepy/somewhat-violent moments. It took me a while to get used to the main character Zack's shyness and introversion after just having read the confident, cocky narration of the boys in "Frindle" and "Swindle." Also, I read this one in spurts, and lost track of some of the characters and their...state of being living. So you might want to read this uninterrupted. I liked that there was an evil old lady, but NOT an evil stepmom. Here's a good tween ghost story with a lot of plot twists and some creepy/somewhat-violent moments. It took me a while to get used to the main character Zack's shyness and introversion after just having read the confident, cocky narration of the boys in "Frindle" and "Swindle." Also, I read this one in spurts, and lost track of some of the characters and their...state of being living. So you might want to read this uninterrupted. I liked that there was an evil old lady, but NOT an evil stepmom. The simplicity of the writing and Zack's young age, alongside the spooks and a couple deaths, occasionally made me wonder about the intended audience. Nonetheless, this is a great standalone book for Goosebumps fans who have read through R.L. Stine, or, gasp gasp, are looking for some less formulaic writing. Also...best. cover. ever.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mallory

    Awards Won: Agatha and Anthony Have you ever wondered if one action can set off a series of events? This book uses imagination to address such a question. The Crossroads does contain some passages that may not be suitable for younger readers.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    It held my interest halfway through but then lost me completely when the author tried to sell to his readers the idea of a twelve-year-old bully who wasn't fully potty trained. Seriously!? Just because a book is written for children, this does not give the author license to write childishly. As C.S. Lewis once said, "A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest." The second star is only because the book had potential.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ranger Jones

    Very good! I have had to stop myself from reading this in class because I loved it. This is a good horror/mystery book that I would recommend it to anyone except young kids. There is a lot of death and gore but this was an amazing book. I have not read many horror and mystery books like this. Highly recommended!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bailey

    That was an incredibly good book. Also- there are more ghosts here than in The Shining.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Humorous, fun filled writing is abundant in the novel "The Crossroads", while still dealing with some serious topics. Zack, our new boy in town, is suspicious about that old tree that stands at the corner of the intersection in his large backyard. Mysterious things have been happening and Zack and his best friend Davy, who talks charmingly as a boy from Kentucky, investigate to find out why. Meanwhile, we have step mom named Judy who is also investigating and trying to find her footing in this n Humorous, fun filled writing is abundant in the novel "The Crossroads", while still dealing with some serious topics. Zack, our new boy in town, is suspicious about that old tree that stands at the corner of the intersection in his large backyard. Mysterious things have been happening and Zack and his best friend Davy, who talks charmingly as a boy from Kentucky, investigate to find out why. Meanwhile, we have step mom named Judy who is also investigating and trying to find her footing in this new family. Well done Mr. Grabenstein for creating Judy, a smart, funny, sweet woman who is NOT an evil step-mom. Refreshing. And for allowing Zack's recently deceased real mom to be the dark baggage the main character has to deal with. Why does the old tree look so evil? Why is the cross there? What does this have to do with clocks and the 1950s? And who is that crazy old lady? The mystery unfolds delicately, and every time new information is given, I yelled, A-HA! (perhaps not aloud but you know what I mean) thinking I knew where this was going. But after reading further down the line, I realized no, I did not see that coming. And Grabenstein does a great job keeping the reader guessing. The surprises and revelations keep coming all the way to the end of the book. I was surprised by how much I liked this well thought out ghost story, and how well it was done. I'll be reading the rest of the series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne Hsu Feldman

    This proves that one cannot judge a book until one has finished reading the story in its entirety. I so loved the first 3/5 of the book -- it's dark, it's sinister, it's mysterious. The short chapters with many surprising or cliff-hanging end-sentences work really well. It's also fun to have an adult who acts somewhat child-like and who helps with solving the issues but not in a condescending way. And then, the story becomes loose at the resolution part. First, there are simply too many quick de This proves that one cannot judge a book until one has finished reading the story in its entirety. I so loved the first 3/5 of the book -- it's dark, it's sinister, it's mysterious. The short chapters with many surprising or cliff-hanging end-sentences work really well. It's also fun to have an adult who acts somewhat child-like and who helps with solving the issues but not in a condescending way. And then, the story becomes loose at the resolution part. First, there are simply too many quick deaths -- two people are scared to death; one young man died with a single shot; the old lady's car flipped and exploded so she died quickly, too. It does not leave lingering problems or tantalizing dilemmas. The scenes with Gerda Spratling attempting to aid Clint and to do away with the two boys simply do not ring true. They read like some second rate TV cop show scenes, lacking the careful crafting of atmosphere and emotions in the first part of the story. Too bad. I've never read anything by this author, but I can see that he has quite a bit of talent in telling a great yarn! Wish that he could have sustained that talent all the way through. It will still be something that young readers enjoy, for sure. And I'm buying multiple copies for the library just because we all need solid ghost stories and this one is quite good, despite my complaints!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    I have finally found the book that satisfies my craving for good, old-fashioned, creepy ghost stories! This would be the perfect campfire read this summer! But a word of caution...do not read it alone at night, especially if your house is surrounded by trees (like mine). Zack, his dad and new step-mom have moved to a small town in Connecticut. And it just so happens that their new property includes a tree that designates the site of this community's worst accident in which 41 people died. And whi I have finally found the book that satisfies my craving for good, old-fashioned, creepy ghost stories! This would be the perfect campfire read this summer! But a word of caution...do not read it alone at night, especially if your house is surrounded by trees (like mine). Zack, his dad and new step-mom have moved to a small town in Connecticut. And it just so happens that their new property includes a tree that designates the site of this community's worst accident in which 41 people died. And while their bodies may be at rest, their spirits are not. With the help of his new friend, Davy, Zack hatchs a plan to help the victims and put them at rest once and for all. But one spirit isn't going down without a fight, he has a score to settle and Zack is in his way. This fast paced story had twist and turns that kept me at the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading it. Crossroads captured me right at page 1 and the only time I stopped reading was to get up for bathroom breaks! I especially loved the "tributes" (for lack of a better word) to The Wizard of Oz throughout the story.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Maybeline Tay

    I enjoyed Escape from Mr Lemoncello's Library, so I did a search on more of Chris' books and decided to read this. This book did not disappoint. However, I'm not sure I will recommend this to the young ones. I think it a wee bit too intense. Firstly, this is a ghost story with suicide, murder and violent intents thrown together. Secondly, there's a backstory of how a mom ( with serious emotional and perhaps mental health issues) who died could still affect her son. It didn't feel directly releva I enjoyed Escape from Mr Lemoncello's Library, so I did a search on more of Chris' books and decided to read this. This book did not disappoint. However, I'm not sure I will recommend this to the young ones. I think it a wee bit too intense. Firstly, this is a ghost story with suicide, murder and violent intents thrown together. Secondly, there's a backstory of how a mom ( with serious emotional and perhaps mental health issues) who died could still affect her son. It didn't feel directly relevant to the plot but definitely made me curious as to why Chris added this layer to Zack's story. Perhaps to point out that not all step moms are evil? This book is a page-turner with lots of plot twists. The characters are well drawn. I love many of Zack and Judy's interactions. How she was kind and gentle towards him. I love it that in the process of the adventure, Zack gained confidence. Another great read from Chris.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Zahra

    The book was a fascinating tale, a mix of horror and mystery. In the story a young boy called Zack lives with his dad and step mom Judy. As a beginning, Zack moves to a house by the cross roads. This place has a lot of history. Zack has this special ability were he can actually see ghosts. It's been bothering him since his mom died. Zack thinks he is finally rid of this, but maybe he wasn't so right. As Zack moves to this new house, were an old tree captures the evil spirit of Clint eberhart (I'm The book was a fascinating tale, a mix of horror and mystery. In the story a young boy called Zack lives with his dad and step mom Judy. As a beginning, Zack moves to a house by the cross roads. This place has a lot of history. Zack has this special ability were he can actually see ghosts. It's been bothering him since his mom died. Zack thinks he is finally rid of this, but maybe he wasn't so right. As Zack moves to this new house, were an old tree captures the evil spirit of Clint eberhart (I'm not really sure of the family name). Sudden deaths of several people start rocking this town after the old tree was struck by lightning and split up. When this happened the evil spirit of Clint came back in order to finish some unfinished business. Zack ended up responsible to fix all that chaos and end clint's evil spirit.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Connell

    I'm not going to lie, this book got me back into reading. it wasn't an amazing, life changing story but it had a great plot that made just want to keep reading. I finished it in two days and started reading more. I had been in sort of a book funk where nothing I was reading was getting me excited. Thank God for The Crossroads.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    I am not a horror fan but really like the other books I've read by Chris Grabenstein, so I found this series at the library. Still not a fan of the genre, but also really like these books. Way to confuse myself. Suspense is about as far as I usually go and since this is a kid's book, I can live with it, though I still had to be a little careful about when I read it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Thrasher

    Brilliant horror story for pre-teens. Absolutely ADORED this one. Eleven year old Zack Jennings's abusive mother has just died of cancer. He still hears her berating him, and feels fault on many levels. His father works out of town a lot, but just married a cheery woman, Judy, who is eager to be a nurturing step-mother to Zack. They move back to Mr. Jennings's hometown to a new construction at the crossroads of Hwy 31 and Hwy 13. This crossroads and the enormous Oak tree is the center piece of t Brilliant horror story for pre-teens. Absolutely ADORED this one. Eleven year old Zack Jennings's abusive mother has just died of cancer. He still hears her berating him, and feels fault on many levels. His father works out of town a lot, but just married a cheery woman, Judy, who is eager to be a nurturing step-mother to Zack. They move back to Mr. Jennings's hometown to a new construction at the crossroads of Hwy 31 and Hwy 13. This crossroads and the enormous Oak tree is the center piece of the story. Enter Gerta Stratling, an ancient spinster who still grieves for her fiance, dead fifty years. Her roadside memorial at the crossroads is kept fresh each week with roses; the memory kept fresh with prayers in the chapel in her home between visits. From there, the tale unwinds, leaving the reader turning pages as fast as possible. Short chapters add to the magic of this tale, making it easy to race forward. Bravo!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    What a unique story with fun twists and turns.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christa

    The main character in this book was named Zack. In the book there was a ghost of the town that was out to kill Zack. Zack's mom had died earlier that year so no figure he had a step mom. Zack was one of those smart but popular kids in his 8th grade classes. Except in English where he thinks the teachers looks like his mother. If anything went wrong during his day he would hear his mother's voice say something that she would of said if she was alive at that moment.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lynette Burnett

    Loved it! I will definitely read more of this series! Fun!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Spook Sulek

    Loads of fun, will recommend to family! Kids get the best stories!!! I'm already reading the second in the series, which I picked up after loving the first Lemoncello book. Really pleased with it as it tackles some very adult material (emotional abuse, trust and lies, friendship) in a way children can process. I also liked that chapters are of varying length; that's something that appeals greatly to the young reader in me, and that you learn a little at a time so you keep on reading. Very good!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Khine

    A real great read! I just started this book because I'm in children's horror phase but man oh man, wasn't it so exciting that I needed and did read it in one sitting. I'm glad I found author Chris Grabenstein. His story telling is easy and engaging, there is not one boring slump in whole book. It's fast-paced and interesting right from the start with right amount of humor. It's ideal for middle-grade but suitable for younger kids too and even adults will find it enjoyable.

  22. 5 out of 5

    colleen the convivial curmudgeon

    I picked this up on something of a whim one day at the library. I was browsing around, not really sure what I was looking for, when the cover caught my eye. Being that crossroads are elements of lots of supernatural stories, and creepy trees are always good, and the blurb sounded interesting, I decided to give it a go. At first I was a little tured off by the simple, straight-forward writing. I know it's an MG book and all, but even books written for the 9-12 set can have some embellishment, ya k I picked this up on something of a whim one day at the library. I was browsing around, not really sure what I was looking for, when the cover caught my eye. Being that crossroads are elements of lots of supernatural stories, and creepy trees are always good, and the blurb sounded interesting, I decided to give it a go. At first I was a little tured off by the simple, straight-forward writing. I know it's an MG book and all, but even books written for the 9-12 set can have some embellishment, ya know? But as I settled into the story it bothered me less. It even worked in some regards to help with the suspense in that it didn't try to sell you on the suspense, it just set things out as they were. In other senses, though, the characters never felt entirely real and I never felt fully engaged. Interested, yes, but not pulled into the story. Anyway - to the characters. I liked Judy a lot. The not-wicked step-mother to offset a truly terrible mother, who helped Zack in a lot of ways. I also liked that, when confronted with an indisputable ghost sighting she was a believer and started looking into more. While I understand a healthy dose of skepticism, I get tired of people in books and shows confronted with obvious supernatural things only to patently refuse to believe them. It can be very annoying. I liked the pairing of Zack and Davy, though I felt the author tried a little too hard with Davy (and Clint, for that matter) to emulate the slang of their time period. It had moments of suspense and tension, of pathos and charm, and a bit of adventure. Overall it was a pretty decent story, probably just the right amount of scary for some kids - though perhaps not enough for some others - almost more of an adventure story than a true horror one. And perhaps a mystery story, as Judy had to piece together the story of Clint and Gerda and get to the truth of what happened. Speaking of Clint and Gerda, my biggest complaint, perhaps, is that they both started off kind of intimidating, in their own ways, but both became more cartoonish and ridiculous as the story progressed. I would've liked a bit more depth to all of the characters, and a lot less slapsticky over-the-topness from these two in particular. Might not be something that would bother younger readers, though, and I think they'll enjoy the overall spookiness, but not terror, of the story.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chrissy McNeill

    Awesome Mystery Loved this book! Perfect reading for anyone over the age of 10! My granddaughter recommended it to me and she is10. Schools should assign this for Summer reading curriculum.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Beaumont

    In this thrilling ghost story for middle-graders, 11-year-old Zack Jennings, who has quite an active imagination, is moving from New York to North Chester, Connecticut, with his dad and his decidedly unwicked new stepmother, Judy, who writes the "Curiosity Cat" children's books. When they arrive, Zack finds, to his surprise, that he also has a new dog, a Jack Russell terrier named Zipper. The crossroads of the title is an intersection where a fatal bus crash occurred 50 years earlier. The acciden In this thrilling ghost story for middle-graders, 11-year-old Zack Jennings, who has quite an active imagination, is moving from New York to North Chester, Connecticut, with his dad and his decidedly unwicked new stepmother, Judy, who writes the "Curiosity Cat" children's books. When they arrive, Zack finds, to his surprise, that he also has a new dog, a Jack Russell terrier named Zipper. The crossroads of the title is an intersection where a fatal bus crash occurred 50 years earlier. The accident has resulted in an abundance of local ghost legends. At the crossroads is a gigantic oak tree, on the Jennings property, that's haunted by a malevolent ghost. An unpleasant woman named Gerda Spratling brings fresh roses there every Monday to adorn a roadside memorial to her long-dead fiance, Clint Eberhart. The book begins with many seemingly separate story lines that are all eventually linked together. There are lots of interesting characters, alive and dead, good and evil, likable and unlikable. Among the likable ones are a boy named Davy, who becomes Zack's first local friend, and the helpful librarian, Mrs. Emerson. There are quite a number of deaths in this tale, and it may possibly be too dark for some young readers, but kids who go in for scary stories will love it. And the darkness is lightened by plenty of humor. I really enjoyed this book, and I expect many other adults will too.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay (Everyday Is An Adventure)

    Okay, here's the dilemma. As a middle school teacher I can clearly see how kids will LOVE this book - it has all the classic elements that younger audiences are into: a ghost story, supernatural beings, a mystery, a main character that you just want to like right from the start, and an evil antagonist who comes around to haunt the living. I am considering adding this title to my book club rotation list for my 6th grade students. That being said, the adult side of me struggled with this one becaus Okay, here's the dilemma. As a middle school teacher I can clearly see how kids will LOVE this book - it has all the classic elements that younger audiences are into: a ghost story, supernatural beings, a mystery, a main character that you just want to like right from the start, and an evil antagonist who comes around to haunt the living. I am considering adding this title to my book club rotation list for my 6th grade students. That being said, the adult side of me struggled with this one because while it is a quick read and an entertaining one, the writing feels floppy and amateurish. I think that parts of the novel, especially at the end, jump around so much that it is a little hard to follow and the whole story doesn't "flow" like I like a novel to. The storyline about Zach's mother just seemed not a relevant as the author might have intended and when Judy shows Zach the kind of love that a mother should it just doesn't have the warm and fuzzy feeling that it should. Gerda's character was interesting, but even that didn't hit-home like an evil character should. In other words, I didn't hate her like I should have! I am torn on this book... I can see the value in it, but it just wasn't for me. I am always interested in checking out more by an author just to see if it was the one particular book or it is the author as a whole that I struggle with. I will be sure to get my hands on another work by Chris Grabenstein.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    The Crossroads is a pretty good ghost story aimed at kids in maybe 5th-7th grade. It was creepy, there was some violence, and there were kids in peril. All of this was enough to make kids in this age range appropriately freaked out, but not enough to be really and truly terrifying to them. While the ghost story does take center stage in this book, it's also a story about Zack having to come to terms with the verbal and emotional abuse he suffered at the hands of his now deceased mother. He learn The Crossroads is a pretty good ghost story aimed at kids in maybe 5th-7th grade. It was creepy, there was some violence, and there were kids in peril. All of this was enough to make kids in this age range appropriately freaked out, but not enough to be really and truly terrifying to them. While the ghost story does take center stage in this book, it's also a story about Zack having to come to terms with the verbal and emotional abuse he suffered at the hands of his now deceased mother. He learns to lean on himself, to find value in himself, and he learns to trust in the bond that he's formed with his new step-mother. All of this is well done, and does not get in the way of or overshadow the ghost story. As for the ghost story, it was good, but the majority of the ghosts in the story died in the 1950s. There is a lot of 1950s terminology and culture that goes on in the story, and I do wonder if that might not make too much sense to younger readers. I guess kids could understand the slang and the culture from context, but in some places it did come off as a little bit corny or dated. Overall, though, I think it's a good story for those kids who like their books to lean a little dark. This one does have a dark streak, but it's the light that triumphs in the end.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    Zack Jennings, his dad, and his new step-mother move to a new house in Connecticut. He and his new puppy, Zipper, run into many ghosts--and they all seems to deal with the crossroads of Route 13 and Highway 31 where a terrible accident happened many years ago involving a bus and Clint Eberhart. Miss Gerta Spratling and her elderly chauffeur every Monday visit the huge old oak tree near the crossroads, and on the Jennings property, where Miss Spratling has a memorial to her fiance, Clint Eberhart Zack Jennings, his dad, and his new step-mother move to a new house in Connecticut. He and his new puppy, Zipper, run into many ghosts--and they all seems to deal with the crossroads of Route 13 and Highway 31 where a terrible accident happened many years ago involving a bus and Clint Eberhart. Miss Gerta Spratling and her elderly chauffeur every Monday visit the huge old oak tree near the crossroads, and on the Jennings property, where Miss Spratling has a memorial to her fiance, Clint Eberhart, who died in that fateful accident. Zack and his new friend Davy want to get rid of the old oak tree, and Miss Spratling's memorial, and their actions bring about events that bring to light what really happened that day. Great story for 7-12 year olds. Would be a good read aloud. Characters are believable/real--even the ghosts! Zack learns valuable lessons from all that happens, yet these lessons are not presented in a "preachy" way. Good book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Deena

    Nice creepy ghost mystery, great for junior high.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    "The Crossroads" is the first in a new series (#2 is "Hanging Hill") of supernatural thrillers. High on tension and low on gore, it is a great intro the genre for 9-12 year olds. Zack Jennings is a character that readers will love to follow: brave despite his fears, cursed with an ability to see ghosts, and blessed with some secret strength to fight the ones that are bent on evil. The crossroads outside his new home are not just a meeting place for two roads, but a nexus of different times and d "The Crossroads" is the first in a new series (#2 is "Hanging Hill") of supernatural thrillers. High on tension and low on gore, it is a great intro the genre for 9-12 year olds. Zack Jennings is a character that readers will love to follow: brave despite his fears, cursed with an ability to see ghosts, and blessed with some secret strength to fight the ones that are bent on evil. The crossroads outside his new home are not just a meeting place for two roads, but a nexus of different times and different worlds. A bus collided with a car in this place fifty years ago, and deaths that day echo right up till today. Now Zack has to bury the past before it buries him!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ronda

    My son was assigned this book as part of a reading group and I've got to say, he was totally pulled in from the very beginning. It's one of the first assigned readings I remember that he wanted to read through and didn't want to put down. As soon as he finished it, he put it in my hands and told me that I HAD to read it. I did--and loved it! It is seriously creepy, but funny too--and the mystery of what happened and what is going to happen next makes it awfully hard to put this book down. And th My son was assigned this book as part of a reading group and I've got to say, he was totally pulled in from the very beginning. It's one of the first assigned readings I remember that he wanted to read through and didn't want to put down. As soon as he finished it, he put it in my hands and told me that I HAD to read it. I did--and loved it! It is seriously creepy, but funny too--and the mystery of what happened and what is going to happen next makes it awfully hard to put this book down. And the good news? There's a sequel! (which my son asked me to purchase even before he finished the first one).

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