Article, Booktalks

Skeleton Creek #2: Ghost in the Machine Booktalk

  • Grades: 6–8

It's Sunday, September 19, and Ryan has started a new journal.  What will happen to him and Sarah in the next ten days, when the journal ends? 

Ryan has begun a new journal. It's a new lease on life, new memories, a new chance to solve the puzzle of Skeleton Creek-or at least, he hopes it is. And there's a new video from Sarah to help him piece it together, to fill in the gaps in his memory. But now they know just how dangerous Skeleton Creek is, and how determined it is to keep its secrets.

Ryan is still on crutches, and the walk through the woods to the Drudge is long, slow, frustrating and painful. Then he's at the top of the stairs, and suddenly he knows he can't go in there again. He'd almost died there. But Sarah is going in, and Ryan knows he must as well. He can't leave her to face alone what's inside.  He just hopes he can handle it without freaking out, without blacking out, so he'll have the words to record what's about to happen. 

He doesn't remember everything that happened before, but two things he can't forget-the message scrawled on the door leading to the outside: DON'T MAKE ME COME LOOKING FOR YOU, and the list of names on the wall of the secret room of the Drudge. Francis Palmer. Jordan Hooke. Wilson Boyle. Dr. Watts. Hector Newton. Joe Bush. And more...  What do they mean? Why is his father's name among them, and how many lies has he told Ryan?

Read Ryan's journal. Watch Sarah's videos. Begin to take the puzzle apart. Discover the darkest, most hidden secrets of Skeleton Creek. 

But be careful—not all of Skeleton Creek's secrets are willing to be revealed.

This booktalk is written by Joni Richards Bodart, university professor, writer, consultant, and internationally known booktalker.

  • Subjects:
    Confronting and Resolving Fears, Discovery and Learning, Magic and Supernatural
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