(My intent was to run this review on Halloween, but the storm had other ideas for my digital connections. A few days late …)
A few years ago, I stumbled into Kate Klise’s wonderful Regarding the Fountain, and loved it so much I bought a set for my sixth grade classroom. It’s a story told in artifacts, which seems to be Klise’s forte, and I loved how its humor and inference and character development intertwined in such an interesting way. Needless to say, my students have loved the book, which is very different from what they are traditionally taught.
I received two other Klise books from a recent book order — Dying to Meet You and Over My Dead Body — and again, Klise tells a story in a most un-traditional way. Letters, notes, sketch drawings, newspaper articles, and other forms of writing are the narrative text of this story of a haunted house, a young boy who has been abandoned by his parents and a writer with writer’s block who moves in. As in Regarding the Fountain, the character’s names are a hoot: Ignatius B. Grumply (IB Grumply), Seymour Hope, Olive C. Spence, Dick Tater, M. Balm, etc.
While I didn’t find the story quite as strong as Regarding the Fountain, these two books in the 43 Old Cemetery Road series (I see a third book is out, too) are nice companions to the Klise archives. Last year, I had a few students who could not get enough of Klise after we read Regarding the Fountain, and one of them recommended Dying to Meet You to me, and then she went and wrote her own book in Klise’s style. It’s hard to argue with that kind of motivation.
Peace (in the artifacts),