Friday, September 05, 2008

The Funeral Director's Son

For six generations, the Campbell family has handled the funerals in the small town of Clover, Massachusetts. But, in The Funeral Director's Son, Coleen Murtagh Paratore's juvenile novel, that tradition could come to an end. There's now a competing funeral home, Golden's, and, worst of all, Christopher "Kip" Campbell doesn't want to take over the family business.

Do you know what it's like to live over a funeral home? Kip didn't mind until about age nine, when suddenly he was the butt of jokes, and kids didn't want to come over to his house. At twelve, he does have his own small group of friends, but that doesn't make it any easier to be the son of the funeral director. And, Kip has a secret. Recently, he's been able to "hear" the dead. He seems to know what the dead need in order to move on to a better place. He wants to get rid of his "gift", but he "hears" a promise, his weight in gold if continues to help the dead for another year. But, why does the mean old man, Billy Blye, have to be the next dead man with a secret?

In a story reminiscent of the best of Richard Peck, Paratore introduces readers to a typical boy, with a special talent. He's all boy, though, with his secret clubhouse, his group of friends, his humor, and the older sister he can't stand. Most readers in the nine to thirteen age group won't appreciate the references to Charles Dickens, but adult readers will. The Funeral Director's Son has a comfortable, middle-class-family, and a story with a touch of magic. It's a book with ghosts, dead bodies in a funeral home, a clubhouse in a cemetery, a little mystery, and secret gold. What more does a reader need?

Coleen Paratore's website is www.coleenparatore.com

The Funeral Director's Son by Coleen Murtagh Paratore. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, ©2008. ISBN 9781416935940 (hardcover), 134p.

9 comments:

Lori Thornton said...

I had some friends who lived over a funeral home once. On one occasion, they had a friend over for the first time when they got a call that a corpse would be arriving. They knew about what time to expect the garage door to open so they told this friend who was staying over to ignore the noise they would be hearing that it was just the machine they used in cremations. It really spooked that friend and the rest of us had a great laugh when our friends told us the story.

Lesa said...

Great story, Lori! That would be funny.

Anonymous said...

I have read the other book of Paratore's, called "The Wedding Planner's Daughter", and that story was a favorite of my friends' daughters. I think that this story is aimed toward younger readers, where Paratore's other work is aimed for older readers. I think both stories are absolutely great.

Lesa said...

Thank you! I'll have to check out The Wedding Planner's Daughter. I can see why that might be a favorite for girls, just by the title.

Alli's Blog said...

i read it today and it was great! the characters act like me and my group of friends! of course we're 13 too.

Lesa said...

Thanks, Alli! I haven't read The Wedding Planner's Daughter yet, but I need to get to it. Thanks for commenting. I'm glad you thought it was great, since you're the audience for the book.

Funeral Adelaide said...

It may look and feel weird at first but it's family business and you grow with it. Somehow you'll get used to living the environment and may not have the creeps anymore. :D

funeral directors said...

People often ask if it was creepy growing up in a funeral home. I said bravely "no it wasn't." I was just like any other goofy kid, I technically grew up next door to the funeral home in the house.

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