The Ghost of Graylock by Dan Poblocki
In the aftermath of their parents’ separation, Neil and his older sister Bree go to stay with their aunts in a small town in the middle of nowhere. There’s not much to do there — not much, that is, except breaking into Graylock, the abandoned mental hospital in the woods. Along with two new friends, Neil and Bree explore the old asylum, and soon afterward find that a spectral presence has followed them home…
The Ghost of Graylock is a ghost story for middle-grade readers, and it’s also a mystery, because Neil and Bree have to figure out who is haunting them and why. Roughly the first two-thirds of the book are relatively slow, building up the spooky atmosphere without giving the reader many clues to chew on, but it genuinely is spooky and it works anyway. When the clues do start coming, they’re bombshells; I think I gasped when I read one of them!... Read More
Dan PoblockiDan Poblocki was born in Rhode Island and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He is the author of The Stone Child, The Nightmarys, The Ghost of Graylock, and The Mysterious Four series. Dan loves reading and writing, playing video games, eating cupcakes, snuggling with his cats, Pedro and Tavi, and telling ghost stories late at night to anyone who’ll listen. Dan hates doing laundry, cleaning his apartment, riding on crowded subway trains, and people who honk car horns excessively. Learn more at Dan Poblocki’s website.
The Ghost of Graylock by Dan Poblocki
The Stone Child — (2009) Ages 9-12. Publisher: What if the monsters from your favorite horror books were real? Eddie Fennicks has always been a loner, content to lose himself in a mystery novel by his favorite author, Nathaniel Olmstead. That’s why moving to the small town of Gatesweed becomes a dream come true when Eddie discovers that Olmstead lived there before mysteriously disappearing thirteen years ago. Even better, Eddie finds a handwritten, never-before-seen Nathaniel Olmstead book printed in code and befriends Harris, who’s as much an Olmsteady as he is. But then the frightening creatures of Olmstead’s books begin to show up in real life, and Eddie’s dream turns into a nightmare. Eddie, Harris, and their new friend, Maggie, must break Olmstead’s code, banish all gremlins and monster lake-dogs from the town of Gatesweed, and solve the mystery of the missing author, all before Eddie’s mom finishes writing her own tale of terror and brings to life the scariest creature of all.
The Nightmarys — (2011) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Timothy July has a secret. And it’s giving him nightmares. Abigail Tremens has a problem. Her nightmares are haunting her… while she is awake. When they team up for a school project, they don’t realize that Abigail’s past and Timothy’s present are making them the target of a terrible curse. A curse that turns their worst fears to reality. But their fears are just the beginning. The curse stems from a strange artifact that gains strength by devouring a human soul. And it needs to feed again. Dan Poblocki has honed his storytelling skills, as every page is filled with chills and thrills in this, his fast-paced second novel. The Nightmarys will have his readers mesmerized until the last page… and then sleeping with the lights on.
The Haunting of Gabriel Ashe — (2013) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Has Gabriel created a monster? Gabe and Seth used to play make-believe games in the woods behind Seth’s family farm. It was the perfect creepy landscape for imagining they were up against beasts and monsters and villains. Just as Gabe’s decided he’s outgrown their childish games, though, it appears that their most monstrous creation could be real. Is there a ghoulish man-eating creature prowling the woods for victims? Or is Seth just determined to make Gabe think so — no matter who gets hurt in the process? Gabe’s not sure which answer would prove more unsettling, but he’s determined to learn the truth.