28 April, 2012

The Dead I Know

Title: The Dead I Know
Author: Scot Gardner
Genre: Fiction
Audience: Young Adult
Format: Book - library

From the Blurb:  You wake up in the middle of the night. Your arms and feet are pinned by strong hands. As you thrash your way to consciousness, a calm voice says 'steady, we're here to help.' Your mind registers a paramedic, a policeman, an ambulance. You are lying on the lookout at Keeper's Point, the lookout Amanda Creen supposedly threw herself off, and you have absolutely no idea how you got there.
Aaron Rowe walks in his sleep. He has dreams he can't explain, and memories he can't recover. Death doesn't scare him - his new job with a funeral director may even be his salvation. But if he doesn't discover the truth about his hidden past soon, he may fall asleep one night and never wake up.

What I thought: This is the third book from the The Children's Book Council of Australia Older Reader's Short list. 
Wow. If you read only one book from the short list - make it this one. I have another three to read after this, but they will have to be very impressive to out do this. You feel for Aaron. On top of the sleepwalking and recurring dreams, his Mam is not well and their neighbours at the caravan park they live at are not doing anything to make life easier. Gardner draws you into Aaron's mind, you feel his fear, his confusion, his desire for this to work, but the barriers he also struggles against. I think a quote by John Marsden on the back says it best - I have never read a book more gripping, nor a book more triumphantly alive. I love how it haunts me still. I swear, I will never forget The Dead I Know.

Challenges: Aussie Author Challenge