Saturday, March 31, 2012

Review: 13 Hangmen

13 Hangmen
By Art Corriveau
Expected publication April 1, 2012 by Abrams

Tony DiMarco loves solving mysteries. So shouldn't he be more excited when a real-life mystery just waiting to be solved arrives on his doorstep? Tony soon finds himself moving across the country to live in the house his great-uncle mysteriously left to him right before he died. And the mystery only gets bigger and more complicated from there...

Okay, I must admit, I picked this up at Midwinter because it takes place in Boston and has got a picture of a kid in a Red Sox uniform on the cover. What can I say? I'm a sucker for the Sox. Anyway, to the book itself - I thought this book was great. It is a very compelling story with tons of different elements sure to appeal to a wide variety of middle-grade readers, including that ever-elusive population - the boys. There is baseball, history, murder, revenge, ghosts (maybe) and a fantastic mystery tying it all together. Sometimes, a story composed of so many elements loses itself in trying to make them all work. I think Corriveau did a great job. Everything blends together and flows and the story makes sense (in its own way). No one element seems to have lost from being part of this complicated story. I think all the boys in this book are great characters - they have wonderful stories to tell and distinct personalities. I think Tony is a hero that kids will want to cheer for. There were a few points in the story where the plot got dragged down by the explanation of some bit of history but overall, the pacing of the novel works really well. I started it and was almost immediately hooked, wanting to keep reading. I think this is a great new book from a promising author.

Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader's copy.

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