Orca Book Publishers

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Fiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 144
Themes: mystery, theft, bullying, secrets, facing your fears
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 29/Jan/2019
Fry Reading Level: 2.9
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Conor loves to climb. So when the crusty old manager of a thrill ride based on Edgar Allan Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum" challenges Conor to scale the ride in the dark of night and hide a package at the top, he foolishly accepts. But it isn't long before he realizes that he is now involved in something far more dangerous. What is in the package, and what does it have to do with Edgar Allan Poe? And why is the town bully so terrified of the old man? The more Conor learns, the deeper in trouble he gets.

The Haunted Reading Room blog
"A short entertaining novel aimed at middle grade reluctant readers. It has a lot to recommend it…I quite enjoyed it."
CM: Canadian Review of Materials
"Appeal to a variety of readers, including readers of human interest, mystery, adventure and realistic fiction…In addition to being an excellent class novel for individual reading or as a read-aloud for the intended audience, would be an excellent addition for personal, class, school and public libraries. Highly Recommended."
"Jackson’s gripping, first-person, plot-driven novel ask readers to consider self-confidence vs. over-active ego; right vs. wrong…A suspenseful addition to high-low collections. "
Must Read Literature: K thru YA
“Excitement and fear are the backbone of this story…The content will definitely hold the interest of teenagers…Perfect for reluctant readers or students reading below grade level.”
Resource Links
“Will allow a young reader to get through it rapidly. The Poe references are entertaining…its simplicity fits, and the exposure to a literary legend such as Poe should prove beneficial and spark important conversations.”

Middle-school fiction
for reluctant readers

Key Features:

Contemporary stories

Compelling characters

Ideal for Lit Circles

Ideal for Independent Reading

Teaching Resources:

Teachers' Guides

Accelerated Reader
Lexile levels


Paperback $9.95

Discounts Available for:






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