Thursday, October 31, 2013

Grave Images by Jenny Goebel

While working at Mountains and Plains this year, I had the chance to meet debut author Jenny Goebel. Her middle grade release, Grave Images, officially hit shelves this past Tuesday but I was lucky enough to get a signed copy at the show.

Bernie knows that her family is a bit off. They own and run a monument company whose main clientele are looking for gravestones. Plus her mom hasn't been the most social person of late, spending most of her time locked up in her bedroom crying. When a drifter arrives boasting an impressive skill at etching and looking for room and board, Bernie's father agrees to take him on. At first, Bernie is fascinated by the man's talent and hopes that he may be able to help her better her own. But Abbott Stein isn't interested in helping Bernie. Not one to take no for an answer, Bernie starts to snoop around the man's room and eventually finds an etching of a man who looks startlingly familiar. She'd almost forgotten about the incident when she learns that an old friend of her grandfather has just died. He and the man in the etching are one and the same, but why would Mr. Stein have carved a picture for someone BEFORE their death?

From the start, I was impressed by how well Jenny Goebel brought Bernie to life. From page one, Bernie just jumps off the page. Her voice, mannerisms, and attitude ring clear as a bell! Bernie is a clever kid who quickly figures out there's something wrong with Abbott Stein. Of course the adults are all clueless, but with the help of a fellow schoolmate (and someone Bernie reluctantly calls a friend), she bravely throws herself into investigating.

Grave Images is a fun read for someone my age and a great creepy read for a younger audience. Goebel does a wonderful job of building an interesting mystery with some light supernatural elements and even some slightly gory details as well. Given my own reading tastes as a kid, this definitely would have hit the spot for me (it admittedly hit the spot for me as a somewhat grown up 32 year old, too).

Rating: 4/5

1 comment:

Jenn's Bookshelves said...

Sounds great! I'll have to check it out!