Saturday, July 25, 2015
by Christine Hayes, illustrated by James K. Hindle
Roaring Book Press, 2015. 310 pgs. Fantasy
Josie, Fox, and Mason Fletcher live in Athens, Ohio, a mere forty miles from Point Pleasant, West Virginia where the "real" folk monster, Mothman, began to appear just a year before Point Pleasant's Silver Bridge collapsed, killing forty-six people. In Hayes' story of the Mothman, he appears hither and yon just before similar tragedies such as the one in neighboring Clark, Ohio, where a landslide claimed many lives. The children's father runs an auction house and has been asked to sell items from the estate of John Goodrich (and he was good and rich, but not untouched by disaster); when the children look over the sale items they find a camera that has no film and yet spits out picture after picture of Goodrich; Josie finds a pin with a moth encased in it which she keeps, with dread consequences. The Fletcher children's encounters with the Mothman are frightening, as are the consequences of the curse he has the power to lay whomever he choses. This is a terrific story for 4th to 6th graders who like being spooked, with a great cast of characters with whom to relate, but it is definitely not for children inclined to nightmares. Local author Christine Hayes has a winner her very first time out of the gate, and no doubt will have a large, national readership clamoring for her next title.