The House on Stone's Throw Island

The House on Stone's Throw Island

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The House on Stone's Throw Island
Author(s)
Age Range
10+
Release Date
August 25, 2015
ISBN
978-0545645560
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A remote island is haunted by wedding crashers from beyond the grave. Dan Poblocki is back with a new spooky ghost story perfect for fans of Mary Downing Hahn and John Bellairs. There is an island, far off the coast of Maine, where the ghosts of the past are restless. Josie Sandoval and Eli Barker are strangers when they board the ferry to Stone's Throw, traveling to the isolated island for a wedding. Then an immense storm blows in, and the wedding party is left stranded with no way to contact the mainland... and no idea that they have been targeted for revenge by the undead. The only clues to the danger they're in are a scrap of an old Nazi uniform -- and an unfamiliar voice, crying out for help in German... Josie and Eli soon realize there's much more to worry about than guest lists and flowers. It's up to them to uncover the chilling history of Stone's Throw Island and put its ghosts to rest -- or this dream wedding will become an absolute nightmare.

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(Updated: August 09, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Ghost of WWII

Josie and Eli aren't crazy about the way they have to spend their time-- going to a fancy island for their respective brother's and sister's wedding. They like the idea even less when the parents try to throw them together, joking about another wedding in ten years. They get along okay, though, especially when weird things start happening. The weather darkens, communication is cut off, and Josie sees a girl in a muddy dress run through her room and disappear into a secret passage. Josie and Eli find several secret places, including a run down, fort like building on the property, and Josie finds a diary from the 1940s. They do their research, too, asking the vaguely creepy older couple who are caretakers about the history of the property. When the storm rolls in and causes a tree to crash on the house, things start to get weird. Trusted family and friends are possessed by spirits of German soldiers who came to grief as the result of a failed spy operation, and everyone must work together to survive.

Good Points
It's rare to find anything about how close foreign forces might have gotten to the continental US during WWII. To have German soldiers not only on US soil, but to have them come back as ghosts-- genius.

While there were a lot of characters (some of whom do come to grief, if you are a sensitive readers), I like how Josie and Eli are originally pushed together, but do eventually become friends. The last chapter address how people who lived through the nightmare are faring several months later, which was a nice touch.

It's hard to find scary ghost stories for middle grade readers, and Poblocki has a string of really awesome books. (The Ghost of Greylock, The Book of Bad Things) The House on Stone's Throw Island had a unique setting, threatening ghosts, and lots of pulse-pounding horror, especially in the water. If you were a fan of The Poseidon Adventure, definitely check this out!
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