Annette and Gina Cascone
January 2012 /ISBN: 14391022104
Fiction/Teen age (middle school students)
by Willie Elliott
Is Miss Emily Barns
an evil witch or do some middle-school-aged kids have an overactive
imagination? From the narrator's (one of the students) perspective,
there is no doubt she is evil and bent on inflicting that evil on
one or all of them.
The action opens quickly
when the kids decide to bury a deal squirrel they found but find
the grave already occupied.
Whatever the case, the
reader (middle-school student or adult) will have the urge to turn
pages to at least get some explanation for the odd things that happen
in the novel.
Much of the novel is dialogue and looks much like a play and makes
for quick reading. I read the story in one sitting (actually while
lying in bed.)The publishers also made the reading much easier by
double spacing the text. However, the banter between the kids, while
entertaining, sometimes doesn't sound realistic.
This would be a good
novel to introduce middle school students to the mystery genre on
the novel level. The author sisters plan to write more books in
the Deadtime series and students will have future reading choices
if they enjoy this one.