The Pricker Boy
by Reade Scott Whinnem
Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September, 2009
List Price: $16.99
Review: “Something is lurking in the forest,” and I’ll tell you one thing it’s not Little Red Riding Hood. This thing (whatever it is) is called the Pricker Boy as has been said to have been spotted by countless people not all of them are still alive though. Unlike an animal it doesn’t look away when looked at and is human like in structure, it is said to have been heard in the forest and giggles like a school boy. “He walks on all fours more like a spider”. He was tricked many years ago by children at his school which made him what he is today and seeks revenge. But what do you have to worry about… right? Reade Scott Whinnem has crafted a masterpiece in Pricker Boy.
Buried in the forest with “skin as grey as dead tree bark covered head to toe in thorns”, just past Widow’s Stone lurks the Pricker Boy seeking revenge on the girls and boys who tricked him into believing that his trapper father had held his (his mother was dead but his friends TRICKED him into believing this) mother in a cage and fed her raw meat every night. But the question is… do you believe in him? Are you a Stucks Cumberland who is embarrassed when he is scared and acts like the leader of the pack, a Ronnie who is terrified at the thought of the Pricker boy and will do whatever it takes to get him off his trail? An Emily who is wise and tries to convince yourself and others that he doesn’t exist, a Vivek who jokes at just about anything? A Robin who is kindred, but terrified and is very emotional, a Cricket who is very quiet and doesn’t really know what is going on, or a Pete who is getting separated from his friends and is physically and mentally scarring them? The Pricker Boy is on their trail and is looking for them.
The story of the Pricker Boy drew me in closer and closer with every word that I could hardly put the book down. I was truly concerned about the characters and felt like I was with them the whole way through the story. I felt it when Stucks was caught in the teeth of a trap. I heard the cries and screams of the school children and the three old ladies. And I could picture the Pricker Boy in my head and was awaiting his first move. This book was fantastic and if I had to rate it on and one to ten scale I would rate it a ten. People should read this book because of the terrific detail and the image that forms in your head while reading. I’m anxiously waiting and hoping for another book, following Stucks, Cricket, Emily, Ronnie, Vivek, Robin, Pete, and the Pricker boy even further into this manipulative tale. Due to this book’s language and frightening story itself, I would recommend the Pricker Boy by Reade Scott Whinnern to middle school students and up; though I would not say no if a younger student would like to take on the challenge of Pricker Boy.
Review written by Gabrielle (6th grade student).
We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of The Pricker Boy for this review.
Have you read The Pricker Boy? How would you rate it?