By Jenny Goebel
Scholastic, $16.99, 208 pages
Bernie has always been a bit of an oddity in her town – it’s hard to be considered normal when your family business involves carving headstones and your backyard is the business showroom. When a drifter, Mr. Stein, comes to town, however, things get even worse for Bernie. Somehow, he is able to create grave portraits for people before they have died. Bernie and her friend, Michael, start investigating and soon find that they are in over their heads – and in Mr. Stein’s line of fire. Will they be able to save the town and themselves?
Grave Images is a delightful book by author Jenny Goebel. Bernie is a great character – she is bright, creative, and resilient. Her friend Michael is equally complex and balances her moodiness out with his persistent positivity. The story is absorbing and the author successfully creates a feeling of foreboding throughout the book. It also nicely touches on Bernie’s struggle with her depressed mother and her own feelings of inadequacy. This book is geared more for older or more mature children due to the content of the story. This was truly a well-written book that was wonderful to read.
Reviewed by Barbara Cothern