The Hanging Woods
By Scott Loring Sanders
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Hardcover, 9780618881253, 336pp.)
Publication Date: March 2008
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What Walter reads that day changes him. Not in any way someone would really notice. He still goes to school, hangs out with his friends Jimmy and Mothball, and tries to avoid the Troll, the town recluse. But something in him has changed. It's as if he can feel a part of him growing—the part that can stand by and watch a house burn down or the life flow out of a fox, without doing anything to stop either. He knows he could—should—do something to help. But some part of him keeps him glued in place, watching with fascination and curiosity. Maybe it would have been better if Walter had never found out the things he did. Maybe he didn't really want to know. But then again, maybe he did. Richly atmospheric, The Hanging Woods is at times disturbing, but it is always riveting. It's a tale of deception, delusion, and the dark places a troubled mind can go.
Scott Loring Sanders's work has been published in both literary magazines and larger publications, including Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. His awards and honors include a writer-in-residency fellowship from the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France; a fiction award from The Atlantic Monthly; a fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; and a Pushcart Prize nomination. He was also a semi-finalist for the James Jones First Novel fellowship and received nominations for Harcourt's Best New American Voices in 2004 and 2005. He lives in Virginia, where he writes and teaches writing.
"Compelling." Kirkus, Feb 1 2008 Kirkus Reviews
"Sanders handles...narration deftly...sure to provoke discussion." The Bulletin, starred, March 2008 Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"This suspenseful story with its...sympathetic characters and brooding atmosphere marks Sanders as a writer to watch." Horn Book
"...many very well-written passages." School Library Journal
". . . this gripping story. . . invites readers to examine the darkest facets of human behavior." July 2008 Booklist, ALA