When I was asked to participate in the Dead Boy blog tour, I immediately wanted to say, “You’ve got the wrong person!” I don’t like scary books. I don’t like scary movies. I still clearly remember reading Stephen King’s Night Shift when I was in high school. A friend had pleaded with me to read it, the writing was amazing, he claimed. I got up early for a morning shift at the diner I worked at on the weekends and read it before I had to go in. Walking out to my car before dawn, I jumped at every noise. I cried as I drove to work, sure I was going to be attacked. Scary stories weren’t my thing.
So it was with apprehension that I opened the cover of Dead Boy. Imagine my surprise to find myself immediately drawn in. Here we have the character of Crow. A boy who died in fourth grade, but has somehow continued to “exist” for the last two years. His mother is, naturally, rather protective over Crow. His body has been decomposing over these past two years. He has an aroma about him, is a bit overtaken by maggots, and body parts can fall off. But, he’s still here, and he is lonely.
Enter his new neighbor, Melody. She’s Crow’s age and his first friend in years. Even when she discovers the truth about Crow, she isn’t deterred. Crow and Melody go on a journey to discover what happened to him, what happened to Melody’s mom, and face a monster or two on their journey together.
While creepy at times, this really is a story about friendship, bravery, and becoming the person you were meant to be. I loved the lessons woven in about how life isn’t always fair, but that doesn’t give you the right to be mean to others. I think my students would gain a lot from Crow and Melody’s story. I cannot wait to share it with them this week.
Bio for author Laurel Gale: Like Crow, Gale resides in the Nevada desert. She lives with her husband and a band of furry monsters that might actually be ferrets, her favorite animal (even though they don't make an appearance in this story).