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Some stories draw blood. Some truths won’t stay buried.
He was human once, or so they say. The son of a fur trapper, he was taunted by his peers and tricked into one of his own father’s traps. By the time anybody found it, the trap’s vicious teeth were empty, pried open and overgrown. It was said the brambles themselves had reached out and taken pity on that boy; that his skin had hardened to bark as thorns grew over every inch of his body.
Maybe it’s true and maybe it isn’t. But anyone who knows anything stays out of the woods beyond the Widow’s Stone.
That used to be enough. But this is the summer everything changes, as Stucks Cumberland and his friends find a mysterious package containing mementos of their childhood: baseball cards, a worn paperback, a locket. Offerings left behind in the woods years ago, meant to keep the Pricker Boy at bay. Offerings that have been rejected.
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Reade Scott Whinnem lives on Cape Cod. Both he and his wife are proud public school teachers.From School Library Journal:
Grade 7–9—Stucks, 14, and his friend Pete are year-round residents of their lakeside community, joined each summer by kids whose families own vacation cottages—Emily, Ronnie, Vivek, and Stucks's cousin Robin. For years, the friends have been telling each other scary campfire stories starring the Pricker Boy, once a real child who was tricked into getting caught in one of his father's animal traps, taken in by the dense woods, and transformed into a revenge-seeking creature with "skin hardened like bark...and thorns over every inch of his body." Their belief that the stories aren't real is shaken when a package filled with childhood objects—sacrificed in years past to keep the monster away—mysteriously appears. Going into the woods beyond the hawthorn trees won't really bring danger and death, will it? And Pete, with his unpredictable behavior, isn't really going over to the dark side, is he? This summer is all about the friends testing their limits, finding a way to deal with their fears, and overcoming emotional trauma. While loose ends abound and certain plot elements defy logical explanation, the spooky mood is sustained and will carry many readers to consider their own nightmares, imagine their greatest fears, and have empathy for these characters dealing with their own bogeymen.—Joel Shoemaker, South East Junior High School, Iowa City, IA
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Book Description Random House Books for Young Readers, 2009. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0375857192
Book Description Random House Books for Young Readers, 2009. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0375857192
Book Description Condition: New. Gift Quality Book in Excellent Condition. Seller Inventory # 36SEQU000VL8
Book Description Random House Books for Young Readers. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0375857192 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0118859