Saturday, December 18, 2010
Ghost Ride by Marina Cohen
I stopped by the school library last night on my way out the door and grabbed a few of the new Red Maple books (http://www.accessola.com/forest2011/redmaple/index1.html) and this morning I picked up Ghost Ride. It was a quick, spooky, exciting read. The main character is a typical teenage boy- surly, wanting independence and fighting his parents at every step.
When Sam's parents decide to leave Toronto and return to Sleepy Hollow where his dad grew up. Sam is less than pleased. He reacts in ways that most teens would when leaving behind everything familiar. Sam is leaving behind his best friend and he is worried that he won't fit in or find any friends. When Sam starts his first day of high school, he meets two boys who seem very cool- Cody and Javon. These boys are thrill seekers, they are constantly looking for the next dangerous stunt to post on their blog. Sam is immediately drawn to these boys, even though his instincts tell him they are trouble.
Cody and Javon invite Sam to their next prank and Sam believes this is his way into the cool crowd. As Sam defies his parents, he is left alone when the stunt goes very wrong. Sam's father starts acting very strange and Sam starts believing some of the ghost stories he hears around town. Sam is left alone to deal with his guilt and his fear.
I think this book will appeal to a lot of kids- the creepy factor is quite high- with lots of connections to the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and the Headless Horseman. Sam is a very believable character, although I found myself a bit frustrated with how overly protective his parents were. Cody and Javon are two boys that I hope I never meet, teach or have my own two boys bring home!