David Stahler Jr. A Gathering of Shades

ISBN 13: 9780060522957

A Gathering of Shades

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9780060522957: A Gathering of Shades

Sixteen-year-old Aidan's grandmother has a secret recipe. She feeds ghosts. Her nightly ritual keeps the local lost souls lingering, caught between life and death. When Aidan stumbles upon this knowledge in the wake of his own father's death, the revelation shakes him to the core. Grief-stricken, he is dangerously drawn into the strange and wondrous world of the dead -- and away from the living people who love him.

This beautifully crafted tale of love and loss is told in shades of otherworldly mystery. David Stahler Jr. spins a chilling story that delves into the depths of grief and emerges as a shimmering celebration of life.

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About the Author:

David Stahler Jr. received his bachelor's degree in English from Middlebury College in 1994 and later earned a graduate degree from the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Dartmouth College. His other provocative works for young adults include Truesight, The Seer, and Otherspace. He teaches in Vermont, where he lives with his wife and two children.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 8 Up–After his father is killed in a car accident, 16-year-old Aidan and his mother move to a farm in the mountains of Vermont where his grandmother spends hours alone in her orchard. One evening, Aidan follows her and discovers that she is able to summon ghosts; they drink her blood and listen to stories of her daily life so that they, too, feel alive. Just like Memère, Aidan is able to see and talk with them. Soon he spots the ghost of a young boy who runs away whenever he sees Aidan, and the teen becomes obsessed with finding out whether this boy knows something about his father. The suspenseful story is drawn out as readers learn more about Aidan, his family, and the ghosts. The protagonist grapples with many issues, such as his father's death, his mother's depression, and his mysterious grandmother. The book frequently alludes to Homer's Odyssey, including its title, taken from the poem. Like Odysseus, Aidan is on a quest to find out about his family that takes him on many twists and turns. Even though some readers may have trouble interpreting some of the book's symbolism, the supernatural story, with its issues of grief and recovery, is well written, and many thoughtful teens will enjoy it.–Jane Cronkhite, Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH
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