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Deadman's Castle



by
Iain Lawrence

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Holiday House
Imprint
Margaret Ferguson Books
ISBN
9780823446551
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$21.42   $17.85
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In Deadman’s Castle, Igor and his family are on the run from a man bent on revenge and danger is lurking around every corner—perfect for young readers with a taste for mystery and adventure.

I told myself it was impossible that the Lizard Man was there. He had never found us on the first day. Twice my father had heard him prowling around a new house in the first week. And in the first month…Well, that had happened more times than I wanted to think about.

Ever since he was five years old and his father witnessed a terrible crime, Igor and his family have been on the run from the Lizard Man, a foreboding figure bent on revenge. They’ve lived in so many places, with so many identities, that Igor can’t even remember his real name.

But now he is twelve and longing for a normal life. When the people his dad calls the Protectors finds his family yet another new place to live, Igor’s dad sets down the rules establishing how far Igor can go in any direction and where he can’t go at all. Boxed into the smallest area he has ever been allowed to explore on his own, Igor rebels. Much to his surprise, he’s allowed to start school and for the first time since Kindergarten he begins to make friends.

As the months go by, Igor begins to wonder if the Lizard Man exists only in his father’s frightened mind. No one but his dad has ever seen him. But then Igor’s little sister tells him she thinks she saw the Lizard Man lurking around the house, and Igor realizes that even if the Lizard Man is real, he would rather risk everything than abandon his friends and go back on the run.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

256

Trim Size

8 3/10" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

0: points 0

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Jun 2021

Book Genres

Adventure, Mystery, Thriller

Topics

Witness protection programs. Family life. Friendship. Middle schools. 

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 3-7–Igor and his family have been running for as long as he can remember, ever since his father witnessed a crime. But now he is 12, and this time he gets to choose his new name while his father chooses his boundaries, where he can go alone, and mostly where he cannot. Breaking those boundaries was how Igor came to discover Rutherford B. Hayes Middle School and his absolute desire to be there. He has never had friends or any idea what a normal life could be until he insists on going to school. His first friends ever Zoe (an edgy goth girl who changes her identity yearly by choice) and Angelo (an Italian American former class bully) push him to start a new adventure without fear of the past and fear of the Lizard Man, who threatened his family all those years ago. Just as Igor begins to ask questions, the Lizard Man reappears. Featuring effective worldbuilding, this is a great, suspenseful tale of terror for upper middle graders. The hurried ending is the novel’s only flaw. ­VERDICT A solid addition to middle school collections.–Sarah Voels, Cedar Rapids P.L., IA

Horn Book

This is a creepy adventure tale, a family story, and a story of an outsider finding his way in “the freak show known as middle school.” Igor Watson’s father once saw a man do a terrible thing. He reported it to the police, and ever since, the man has been after them, vowing revenge. “Watch for a man with a lizard tattooed on his skin,” Igor’s father told him years ago, and since then they have been on the run across the country, chased by the Lizard Man and under the care of the “Protectors.” They have lived in so many places, in so many new homes, and under so many assumed names that narrator Igor doesn’t even remember his real name. Now he is twelve, and he wonders about his father being the only one ever to have seen this Lizard Man. Is their predator real, or is his father “crazy,” as some people say? This tension drives the gripping tale to a pulse-pounding conclusion. An author’s note describes the “bird’s nest of memories” that led to this story. DEAN SCHNEIDER

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 3-7–Igor and his family have been running for as long as he can remember, ever since his father witnessed a crime. But now he is 12, and this time he gets to choose his new name while his father chooses his boundaries, where he can go alone, and mostly where he cannot. Breaking those boundaries was how Igor came to discover Rutherford B. Hayes Middle School and his absolute desire to be there. He has never had friends or any idea what a normal life could be until he insists on going to school. His first friends ever Zoe (an edgy goth girl who changes her identity yearly by choice) and Angelo (an Italian American former class bully) push him to start a new adventure without fear of the past and fear of the Lizard Man, who threatened his family all those years ago. Just as Igor begins to ask questions, the Lizard Man reappears. Featuring effective worldbuilding, this is a great, suspenseful tale of terror for upper middle graders. The hurried ending is the novel’s only flaw. ­VERDICT A solid addition to middle school collections.–Sarah Voels, Cedar Rapids P.L., IA

Horn Book

This is a creepy adventure tale, a family story, and a story of an outsider finding his way in “the freak show known as middle school.” Igor Watson’s father once saw a man do a terrible thing. He reported it to the police, and ever since, the man has been after them, vowing revenge. “Watch for a man with a lizard tattooed on his skin,” Igor’s father told him years ago, and since then they have been on the run across the country, chased by the Lizard Man and under the care of the “Protectors.” They have lived in so many places, in so many new homes, and under so many assumed names that narrator Igor doesn’t even remember his real name. Now he is twelve, and he wonders about his father being the only one ever to have seen this Lizard Man. Is their predator real, or is his father “crazy,” as some people say? This tension drives the gripping tale to a pulse-pounding conclusion. An author’s note describes the “bird’s nest of memories” that led to this story. DEAN SCHNEIDER

Grades 5-8
Mystery Middle Plus
For Grades 5-8

For gripping mystery and adventure, look no further than these riveting fiction and nonfiction books. Your middle school suspense seekers simply won't be able to tear themselves away from the page. And with 12 books offered yearly, the suspense never ends.

14 books per Year
$249.90 per Year
Interests
Chapter Books/Novels,Fiction,History,Reluctant Readers,Transitional Readers,Thriller/Horror/Mystery,Realistic Fiction
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