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Review: The Dead Boys

Cover © Putnam Juvenille

Cover © Putnam Juvenille

We are lucky to live near a few accomplished authors. Clete Barrett Smith, of course, has visited our school and our club! Authors like Kim Baker and Kirby Larson live in the Seattle area. Another author in Bellingham is Royce Buckingham.

I’ve recently read two books by Royce Buckingham. He is the featured author at this year’s Young Authors Conference, which some Guys Read members will attend. I actually saw him at a previous Young Authors Conference. He is pretty entertaining, and gives some great writing tips.

Anyway, I wanted to read some of his books, so I would be ready to talk about them with our Young Authors, and anyone else. So I read his breakout novel, Demonkeeper, and his most recent book, The Dead Boys. The first was pretty creepy, and maybe best as a middle school book. The Dead Boys was also creepy (See a theme here? Mr. Buckingham is definitely a scary-book author), and I though it was more appropriate for 4th and 5th graders. So, here we are!

The Dead Boys is about a twelve year-old boy, Teddy, who moves with his mom to Richland, WA, home of the Hanford Nuclear Plant, used for making the first atomic weapons. A lot of radiation seeped into the environment when the plant was in use, with some…interesting results.

Teddy encounters a number of boys, all of whom seem a bit strange, and all of whom attempt to lure him into somewhat dangerous situations. Teddy must both avoid the dangers and figure out what in the world is going on.

I don’t know exactly what books other classes are reading right now, but in Room 3 there are a lot of fans of scary books. Skeleton Creek, the Creepover series, Scary Stories to Tell in the DarkA Tale Dark and Grimm. Mr. Buckingham’s The Dead Boys fits right into that set. It is creepy, exciting, and mysterious. If that’s the type of book you like, check it out. And maybe you’ll see Royce Buckingham around town!

The Dead Boys

By Royce Buckingham

201 pages

Genre: Fantasy; scary

Source: Oh, I got it at the good old public library!

Available now


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