Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Dead I Know by Scott Gardner

Aaron has enough things happening in his personal life to give him the nightmares that cause him to sleepwalk all over town. He lives in a trailer park where he is harassed by a local drug dealer.  His mam is suffering from dementia and Aaron is worried that she is a danger to herself.  Aaron's nightmares are actually memories of something terrible that happened years before.  With all of these problems, it's surprising that Aaron finds comfort while working as an apprentice at a funeral home with Mr. Barton.  Mr. Barton and his family give Aaron the quiet support he needs while letting him know that he's not the screw-up others have said he is.

This book reads like a high school book to me.  I don't believe there is anything inappropriate for middle school but it is a moodier book better suited to older readers with more patience for that.  It will not attract a big audience even at high school, however.  Mr. Barton is a great character and someone I wish I knew IRL.