The Black Heart Crypt by Chris Grabenstein. A Haunted Mystery.
Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 2011
List Price: $16.99
Review: I can see them, my dad used to be able to see them, they speak to me and sometimes ask me for help. Yup, that is right; I can see and speak to ghosts. Hi, I am Zack Jennings. Welcome to my life. Although Zack looks like a normal kid, he is anything but. The book The Black Heart Crypt, the fourth book in the Haunted Mystery series by Chris Grabenstein, has action around every corner. It is the most suspenseful book I have ever read.
Halloween is nearly every child's favorite day of the year but not Zack. During Halloween, a few ghosts are after him and not only can they hurt, but they can also posses their living relatives. Zack knows that on Halloween the divide between the living and the dead is thin. Powerful ghosts can cross over and cause some serious trouble. So, for protection, he decides to stay near a big crowd, where most ghosts cannot hurt you. Unfortunately, an evil group of 13 ghosts by the name of Ickleby has something against the Jennings' family. The leader of the group is powerful enough to kill, even in a crowd. Azalea and Malik get sucked into this mess when they are with Zack on Halloween and the Icleby's are loose. Now they all have to survive the night.
It is amazing how well Chris Grabenstein pulled off this story. It seems so realistic even with ghosts and spirits walking around. This book is written from 5-6 different points of view. Some of the points of view are; Zack, the Icleby's, Azalea, Norman Ickes, Malik, and Zack's parents. I absolutely loved this book! The first page brings the reader right into the action. This is an excerpt from Page 1 of The Black Heart Crypt;
"Zack Jennings did not want to chase a slobbering black dog with glowing red eyeballs up into Haddam Hill Cemetery three nights before Halloween.
It was Zipper's idea."
As you can see you are launched straight into the action. In almost every chapter there is some kind of action or danger. Whether it's Zack, one of his friends, or some of his family, someone's usually in danger. The Black Heart Crypt is so good I did not want to put it down. When I finished I was left wanting to read more! I had never read a book written by Chris Grabenstein, but now I am compelled to read more of his books. If you like mystery, suspense, and a little bit of humor, then I would highly recommend this book. I rate The Black Heart Crypt 5 out of 5 stars. I hope Grabenstein writes a sequel to The Black Heart Crypt. I will caution you, there are lots of battle scenes and a few scattered killings.
Chris Grabenstein is the winner of the Agatha Award and the Anthony Award for earlier books in his Haunted Mystery series.
Review written by Donna (6th grade student).
We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of The Black Heart Crypt for this review.
Have you read The Black Heart Crypt? How would you rate it?