________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 4 . . . .October 14, 2005

cover

Walking With the Dead.

L.M. Falcone.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2005.
196 pp., pbk. & cl., $8.95 (pbk.), $19.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55337-709-5 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55337-708-7 (cl.).

Subject Headings:
Mythology, Greek-Juvenile fiction.
Time travel-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Jane Bridle.

***½/4

   

excerpt:

"Listen to this, Alex," he said, excitement in his voice. "In ancient Greece it was believed that the souls of the newly dead went to live in the Underworld. To get there, souls were ferried across the River Styx by a boatman named Charon. But he would ferry only those souls that were buried with a gold coin in their mouth."

My eyebrows went up. This was more interesting than The Three Stooges reruns, which is what I usually watch when I get home. I grabbed a Pop-Tart and pulled up a chair.

 

Twelve-year-old Alex is beset with troubles. Not only is he the target of a bully named Slug, but Alex's mother died three years ago and his still grieving father is opening a museum of oddities that features an ancient Greek corpse. When a surge of electricity wakes up the mummy, Alex and his best friend Freddie decide to help the unfortunate cadaver named Costas to cross the River Styx and clear his name from a false accusation for a murder he didn't commit. They undertake the classic hero's journey into the Underworld where they encounter several characters from Greek mythology, including Charon, the boatman and Medusa, and pass many challenges using wit and courage until they help Costas reach the Elysian Fields L.M. Falcone is a former teacher and writer for television series such as The Littlest Hobo and the popular pre-teen series Are You Afraid of the Dark? Falcone received a Telefilm Canada grant to write a screenplay for her first book, The Mysterious Mummer (2003), which combined historical details of Newfoundland with a gothic thriller for adolescents. Her latest novel, Walking With the Dead, has the snappy dialogue and fast moving action of a television show that will appeal to young readers. This humourous, creepy adventure offers a delightful introduction to Greek myths that will encourage readers to seek out other stories in mythology.

Highly Recommended.

Jane Bridle is a librarian at the Winnipeg Public Library in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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