Twelve year old Ret is enjoying summer, other than the fact that his father works two jobs and is never home, while his mother works only one job but is exhausted from taking care of everything at home. He and his friends Gary & Jax are doing jumps and stunts with their bicycles on Dead Man’s Hill, when an older boy suggests they spend the night in the Crooked House. This is an abandoned old house that everyone says is haunted. So what to 12 year old boys do when given a dare that could be dangerous? They accept it, of course. Imagine their horror when real paranormal events happen!
This could best be described as a supernatural coming-of-age story. Ret goes through a lot as the summer goes on- more paranormal events; fear of the local mortician’s new employee, who Ret ends up working with; a family shakeup; people start disappearing. Then climax is extremely tense and well done. It’s a great middle school book, and I enjoyed it a great deal as an adult. Four stars.