The Body of Christopher Creed By Carol Plum-Ucci
New York Harcourt 2000 248p.
TAGS: On the Edge of Your Seat, Mystery
This first novel by Carol Plum-Ucci is a mystery told as a flashback by 16 year old Tory Adams. Tory has it all going on—football star, hangs with bright kids and is very popular except when it comes to compassion. Tory like many others in his school can’t help but pick on Christopher Creed. Creed is a nerdy kid that has been picked on all his life—he comes up missing in the very beginning of this mystery and the only clue is an email that he sent to the principal. It names some of the kids in school including Tory Adams but gives no clue if the disappearance was from running away, abducted, suicide or any other foul play. Tory is really spooked by Creed’s disappearance and sets out to find out what really happened, especially now that he was being investigated. As weird as Creed was in life, his disappearance was even weirder. Naming those boys in the email, his mom always nervous and looking for something in Chris’ room, and facts that just don’t add up, made the search for Creed even harder now that a year has passed. This has all the makings for a really great mystery but the story falls short several times throughout this book. The book starts out slow, then starts to build with all the townspeople getting freaked out, then slows down when they start to look in the mound burial grounds. It never really builds to a great climax and I felt empty at the end of the story—not that the mystery wasn’t solved but that the clues never added up. Perhaps it was truly the whole town including Tory, and Chris’ own family that “killed” Christopher Creed—the boy who was always picked on. The saving grace to this book was that Tory and many others had a taste of compassion towards other kids who were just “different”. This book has great cover art by Lori Buley which screams out mystery! Looking out past your own hands and looking into the woods—will be intriguing to teen readers.
Quality 3Q Popularity 3P Grades: MJ Lexile: 720