I’m watching the final video and it’s cool to finally see Ryan, the narrator. Skeleton Creek is a stepping stone to change how stories are told.
This is not an ordinary YA book. Sure, you’ve got the boy and girl who have been forbidden to see each other. You have the adults who have no clue/you can’t trust. But the execution of these elements is what’s beautiful from Patrick Carman.
Have you seen his virtual touring? Intriguing…
Skeleton Creek is set up in part as Ryan’s journal. It’s from here that you see his thoughts and feelings on the situation. There is some plot, but for the most part it is character development as we see him interact with the people around him while he’s injured.
The creepier parts of the book, for me, were the online videos hosted at sarahfincher.com (if you have an ARC, it’s not sarahfletcher.com. I freaked out that I might miss some videos.) The craziest video is the last video, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Showing some of the earlier videos to students and staff made them jump. Mission accomplished.
The premise is that there’s a land-based dredge used in a small town to dig for gold. One of the workers may have gotten caught in the gears and could be the cause of the Old Joe Bush ghost stories. Ryan and Sarah are trying to investigate the dredge, but Ryan is seriously injured.
What’s crazy is that with so many sites out there and with the ability to put anything online, we don’t know how much is history and how much is Carman’s story. (Unless you use whois.com.)
It’s for that reason that I jumped at the videos (picture no soundtrack but only frogs, wood creaking, and trickling water). I love the ending, but you can’t skip to it. The only hang-up that I can think of would be if your school has a silent reading time and you’re not able to get to the computer to watch the videos. You can still piece together what happened from the journal, but you definitely can’t miss the first and last videos.
Update: One of the Science teachers took home my copy of the book over the weekend. She was just going to read a couple of entries and then spend the rest of the weekend working on grades. Instead, she read the whole book.
This is a must-have for your library when it hits in February.