Damico, Gina. Croak. Graphia, see Houghton Mifflin 311p $8.99
978-0-547-60832-7 hs VG Fantasy
Croak, a town in upstate New York, becomes the summer home for Lex when her behavior and grades dictate that a change of venue would benefit not just Lex, but her family and school as well. Expecting to be working on her uncle Mort’s farm slinging manure, Lex instead finds that Mort manages the town, whose entire population is engaged in the business of reaping souls and managing their transition from this life to the next one. Lex learns that she is to be a killer, the individual who “kills” a dying person, and she is paired with Driggs, who is the culler who gathers the souls. They are just two of the 85 or so citizens of Croak who are all Grims, engaged in one aspect or another of the task of transitioning souls to the afterlife. Lex finds that she adapts well to the job, but while working with Driggs she finds that there are deaths that aren’t “normal”. Lex, Driggs and other young Grims investigate these deaths and find them to be criminal, and that one of their own is the culprit. The storyline and narrative in this fun but morbid tale are very engaging, and with the grim humor that is infused throughout the book, YA’s will find this a very enjoyable read. It is a highly recommended addition for high-school and public library collections.
Death – Fiction, Macabre – Fiction, Fantasy -- Lynn Fisher