Booktalks

The Road of the Dead Booktalk

  • Grades: 9–12

Scholastic Booktalk

When the Dead Man got Rachel, I was sitting in the back of a wrecked Mercedes, watching the rain.

Sometimes Ruben knows things. He doesn’t know how, but he gets feelings, mostly about his family, his parents, his brother Cole. But never about his sister Rachel, not until the night she died.

One moment he was watching the rain from the back seat of a wrecked Mercedes, and suddenly she was there with him, and then the next moment he was with her, walking down a lane in the middle of a moor, cold and wet and tired and scared, and very, very alone. And then she wasn’t alone. There was someone else there and she was paralyzed with fear. And the Dead Man came out of the dark and it was over. Everything went black, for Rachel and for Ruben. And when he woke up, Rueben knew his sister was dead.

Rachel had gone to visit a friend in a village on Dartmoor on Friday, May 14. She’d started back to London the evening of Tuesday May 18. She’d never arrived. She was found the next morning in a remote moorland field a mile outside the village. She’d been beaten and raped and strangled. The police were investigating. Rachel’s body wouldn’t be released until they found her killer. Forensic evidence needed to be gathered. There would be a second or a third postmortem exam. It could be several months before they would release Rachel’s body, before her family could take her home and bury her. But the sooner the killer was found, the sooner her body would be released.

That makes it simple for Cole and for Ruben. Cole is going to Dartmoor to find her killer, and bring her home. Ruben is going to take care of his brother, to keep him out of trouble, even if Cole isn’t happy about it. It’s all they can do. Rachel is dead. They just want to bring her home, bury her and try to figure out how to get on without her. To do that, they have to stalk and find her killer, to walk the path she walked that last night, to walk the road of the dead.

This Booktalk was written by librarian and booktalking expert Joni R. Bodart

 

  • Subjects:
    Death, Grief, Loss, Ghosts, Monsters, Vampires, Witches, Equality, Fairness, Justice, Sexual Abuse, Siblings
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