In the desert town of Richland, Washington, there stands a giant sycamore tree. Horribly mutated by nuclear waste, it feeds on the life energy of boys that it snags with its living roots. And when Teddy Matthews moves to town, the tree trains its sights on its next victim.
From the start, Teddy knows something is very wrong with Richland- every kid he meets disappears before his eyes. A trip to the cemetery confirms that these boys are actually dead and trying to lure him to the tree. But that knowledge is no help when Teddy is swept into the tree's world, a dark version of Richland from which there is no escape . . .(summary from goodreads)
My thoughts...At 208 pages, this MG novel would be perfect for readers of all ages, especially young boys. This is one of those stories that make you leave the light on when you sleep and check under the bed. It was very entertaining and well written.
The characters in The Dead Boys were very well written. Teddy, the new kid on the block ventures out to make some new friends. He quickly meets the town bully and his victim, and several other boys that are full of personality. They all seem very interested in Teddy and he quickly learns why. The story was very creepy and left me with chills on several occasions. The plot was very original and it was a fast paced read.
This would make a perfect addition to a middle grade library. I will be watching for other titles by this author.
For more information, including purchase links, visit Royce Buckingham at his official website. After checking out the site, I found a link to this picture of the tree in The Dead Boys. The artwork is by Artist Jillene Smith, Bellingham, WA. Creepy!!