Module 9: 49 Old Cemetery Road- Dying to Meet You

49 old cemetery
Book Summary:

Best-selling, and crotchety, old children’s book author Ignatius B Grumply moves into the old Victorian at 43 Old Cemetery Road to get some solitary time to write his latest book.  Unfortunately, the house is occupied by Seymour the eleven-year-old son of the owners of the house and Seymour’s friend Olive.  Oh- Olive happens to be a ghost!  Needless to say, things do not start our well.  But sometimes friendship finds you in unexpected places and in unexpected ways.

Klise, K. (2009). 49 old cemetery road: Dying to meet you. Orlando, FL: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Impressions:

This is kind of a quirky book with some things that don’t really make sense.  (I mean what parents would agree to leave their 11-year-old son in the custody of a tenant they had never met?)  However, I doubt the intended audience of this story would have a hard time suspending their disbelief in order to go along with the story.

I really enjoyed the epistolary format of the book itself and the individuality shown through the differing typefaces, fonts, etc.  The front cover is also engaging and attractive- well maybe spooky is a better description.

Finally, even though the events that take place in the book are, if not impossible, then surely unlikely, it’s still a fun story.  I enjoyed watching the relationships between Ignatius, Seymour, and Olive develop.  I was a little worried that the ending might not be as satisfactory as I wanted, but the Klise sisters did not disappoint!

Professional Review:

“This epistolary graphic mystery may take genre-bending into the realm of genre-pretzeling, but it still delivers an unlikely story with a great deal of likability. The famed children’s author (who despises kids, naturally) Ignatius B. Grumply moves into an old Victorian mansion to finish his latest book. Turns out a young boy abandoned by his parents lives upstairs, and a ghost named Olive lives in the cupola, making for an uncomfortably full house. The entire interaction between the three (and a handful of supporting cast members) takes place in their written communiqués, a conceit that falls apart under close scrutiny but if taken at face value allows for a surprisingly jaunty read. Given that a bulk of the physical space is taken up by letterheads, this thin book can be read in a flash, and even though it is the first in the 43 Old Cemetery Road series, it stands on its own and features a touching conclusion. Maps of the house, portraits of the characters, and the boy’s drawings add a nice layer to the mildly self-referential whole. Grades 3-6.”

Chipman, I. (2009, April 1).  Dying to meet you [Review of the book 49 old cemetery road: Ding to meet you, by K. Klise].  Booklist, 105(15), 36.  Retrieved from http://www.booklistonline.com

Library Uses:

I think this would be a great example to use in a “Write your own book” program.  It could be checked out to interested patrons and then two weeks later (to give them all a chance to read the book) the group could get together and spend time creating their own book.  Paper, pens, pencils, colors, markers, etc. could be provided by the library for the prospective authors to use.  Kids could even pair up as the Klise sisters do with one coming up with the story and one illustrating the book.

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Filed under 5420 Literature for Youth

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