Book Spotlight: Skeleton Creek

Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman
Release Date: Feb 2009 
Publisher:Scholastic Inc.
Pages: 240 

The first book in the breakthrough series from bestselling author Patrick Carman, featuring text and technology in an innovative new way. Strange things are happening in Skeleton Creek . . . and Ryan and Sarah are trying to get to the heart of it. But after an eerie accident leaves Ryan housebound and forbidden to see Sarah, their investigation takes two tracks: Ryan records everything in his journal, while Sarah uses her videocam to search things out. . .and then email the clips for Ryan to see. In a new, groundbreaking format, the story is broken into two parts — Ryan’s text in the book, and Sarah’s videos on a special website, with links and passwords given throughout the book.

After 6 days of school visits with 800 teens this was hands down the favorite. As a non-traditional book I don’t think this book gets a lot of push among libraries, which is a shame. Carman has created a fun interactive book that is sure to get even the most reluctant readers excited. Part journal (Ryan) and part videos (Sarah) this book has that spooky element that my kids love.

I did show one of Sarah’s videos (password: theraven, jump about half way through) during the visits, which was truly sold the book. The room erupted in talk once it was finished and they begged me to show it again, especially the boys. It was fun to see the teens get so excited and walk out talking about it as they headed back to classes(even when it was the first book talked about). In fact, they were so excited about this book that both school librarians had to go and buy it afterwards for their library so the teens could check it out next year. (End of the year = school library closed) I’ve even been told that several have already come into the public library asking to check it out.

While Skeleton Creek was the top favorite, there were several other that stood out among the 20 different books I book talked. They were: Divergent, Blood Red Road, I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets, Meanwhile, and True Meaning of Smekday. If anyone would like to know more about those books, just leave a comment and I’ll cover them on Thursday!

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