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The Crossroads    by Chris Grabenstein order for
by Chris Grabenstein
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Eleven-year-old Zack Jennings moves with his dad and new stepmother to the small Connecticut town where his dad grew up. Zack is happy to leave the New York apartment where his mother died. Not because he mourns her, but because he is still afraid of her.

The Jennings move into a new subdivision not far from an intersection that seems to collect fatal car accidents. There's a memorial on the huge oak tree in the backyard which faces the highway intersection. The memorial, with its white cross, was put there fifty years ago by Gerda Spratling, who still puts fresh roses there every Monday.

The Connecticut town is home to a fascinating array of ghosts. Most are harmless, but the one who lives in the tree memorial is evil. Zack doesn't know it, but he is the chosen one who must rid the town of Clint Eberhart, Miss Spratlings' former fiancÚ. Eberhart has a grudge against Zack's family so Zack is in danger if he doesn't act.

This fast paced thriller is like a jigsaw puzzle, with pieces fitting together slowly at first and then faster and faster towards the end. The ending is not unexpected, but one that nicely ties things together.

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