Roaring Brook Press, Hardcover, 9781596431140, 240pp.
Publication Date: May 2, 2006
Murray, a loner who communes with the dead in the town cemetery, hears the voice of a murdered cheerleader and tries to convince the adults that he knows what happened to her. But who beleives him? He's a loser. Can he even beleive in himself? Also comes Pearl, the daughter of the cemetery caretaker, who befriends Murray and tries to enter his world. Together they may prove the astonishing possibility that Nikki is closer than anyone thinks.
"Dead Connection is a smart, funny, very clever page turner; unique and fun to read. As much as I wanted the mystery solved, I didn't want it to end. You're going to like this book." --Chris Crutcher
American Library Association Quick Picks for Young Adults
“Smart, funny, very clever. I didn’t want it to end.” —Chris Crutcher
* “This superb debut novel concerns two very different individuals trying to discover the fate of a high school cheerleader who disappeared from a small California town. Even the people in supporting roles are extremely well developed, especially the cemetery caretaker and his daughter, both of whom play crucial roles in Murray’s maturation. Readers will find themselves rooting for these characters.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“By delving into the adults’ problems as they meld with the mystery of Nikki’s disappearance, Price has given the book an adult veneer. Readers will like the edginess and be intrigued by the extrasensory elements as well as the darker turns the mystery takes. This is something different.” —Booklist
“There is a Crutcher-like sensibility in the balanced but unambiguous portrayals of adults—while some are brutal, negligent, and blameworthy, others show nothing but compassion and understanding for the kids that these former monsters have messed up. Amidst the damage, then, there is love and courage in this page-turning mystery with a supernatural twist.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“What readers think they know is often challenged, and no neat resolution exists. Though the story ends in an unusual and slightly awkward fashion, the realistic complexities explored are ripe for discussion.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Twists and turns in this multi-perspective mystery keep readers guessing, and the denouement is genuinely surprising.” —School Library Journal