Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman

January 20, 2009

Title: Skeleton Creek

Author: Patrick Carman

Release Date: Feb. 10, 2009.

Edition: Paperback

Number of Pages: 186.

Grade: B

Contains: Coming-of-age, Relationships, Drama, Suspense, Mystery.

Analysis of Book (1-10 on each aspect):

Writing: 8

Plot: 9

Characters: 8

Wow Factor: 8

Summary (scholastic.com): Strange things are happening in Skeleton Creek … and Ryan and Sarah are trying to get to the heart of it. But after an eerie accident leaves Ryan housebound and forbidden to see Sarah, their investigation takes two tracks: Ryan records everything in his journal, while Sarah uses her videocam to search things out … and then emails the clips for Ryan to see. 

In a new, groundbreaking format, the story is broken into two parts — Ryan’s text in the book, and Sarah’s videos on a special website, with links and passwords given throughout the book.

Review: This book is the first of its kind. Targeted to reluctant readers, it asks that you read twenty pages of Ryan’s thoughts and adventures and your “reward” is to watch a video made by Sarah that relates to it. It’s a ghost story. I bet you’re wondering if it’s good enough to make your knees shake? I truthfully was scared throughout the book. I think the videos had a great impact in my whole perception of the book because I could view what Ryan was talking about in his journal. The videos just make it that much more like you’re really there, witnessing whatever this ghost is.

While I was reading it I had the sense that it was kind of like National Treasure meets lonelygirl15. It was short, quick, and effective. 

But I did have some problems with it. What if you’re not by a computer when you’re reading? This happened to me more than once. So I tried watching the video through my iPhone, but it didn’t work. Another thing is that I wished the supporting characters had been more developed. I felt as though I didn’t truly know them as much as I knew Ryan and Sarah and hope that in the next book there will be more explanation about them.

The ending was a total cliffhanger. But I do think it’s one more step to getting reluctant readers to pick up the second book in the series. And perhaps the piece that makes it that much more interactive is that this book is being speculated to be real over at skeletoncreekisreal.com

I recommend this book to boys 9-13 who don’t really enjoy reading. But if you’re like me– a total ghost stories and suspense fan– you’ll really get a kick out of this.

Want to watch a book trailer? Here ya go:


  1. Nice review. I will be posting mine later.

  2. Nice review! I really do want to read this now. I can see how having to go back n forth between reading and the computer would be hard, but it sounds like a great story!!

  3. Sharon- Thanks! I’ll look out for your review.
    Lauren- It is a great story Lauren! I suggest you buy it when it comes out. 🙂

  4. Great review. 🙂 I do want to read this book – I just want to see how the whole videos thing mixes in with the story – but in a way I don’t want to read it. I usually read lying on my bed, and I usually don’t like getting up (and my room is really cold), even if my computer is right in here, too. So… I think that would be my major thing about this book. But, still, it’s a very interesting idea.


  5. Nice review!
    I can’t wait to start reading it! 🙂

  6. Hope- Read it during the summer! Haha.
    Tempestt- I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

  7. I really liked how this blended the video aspect of it into the book. The genre was perfect! More so than being by a computer (I read it in just one sitting, so not a problem for me) but can you still read this book 5-10 years from now? My guess would be that it will be outdated at some point.

  8. I am looking forward to reading this book! It is amazing how books have trailers now! I think it’s a great way to connect with readers. I just saw this one from the book Rowan of the Wood and loved it! Check it! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I131WvXct_A)

  9. Looks like you haven’t been on in awhile, but if you see this this week, PLEASE email me if you are going to do the Willow thing. We’d love to have you!!!

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