Haunted Mystery Series:

The Crossroads

Book 1

The Smartest Kid in the Universe by Chris Grabenstein

Middle Grade (9-13)
Random House, 2008

ISBN: 9780375846984


Haunted Mystery Series

The Crossroads

Book 1


2010 Anthony And Agatha Awards Winner (Best Children’s/Young Adult Novel) • A Top 10 Crime Fiction Book For Youth (Booklist) • Children’s Choice List (Children’s Book Council/International Reading Association)


Zack, his dad, and new stepmother have just moved back to his father’s hometown in Connecticut, not knowing that their new house has a dark history. Fifty years ago, a crazed killer caused an accident at the nearby crossroads that took forty innocent lives. He died when his car hit a tree in a fiery crash, and his malevolent spirit has inhabited the tree ever since. During a huge storm, lightning hits the tree, releasing the spirit, who decides his evil spree isn’t over, and Zack is directly in his sights!


“An absorbing psychological thriller as well as a rip-roaring ghost story, this switches points of view among humans, trees, and ghosts with astonishing élan. Expect lots of requests.”
—Booklist, starred review

“Brief, fast-paced action chapters, tight plotting, several murders and a sympathetic main character keep things moving, as long-buried clues to the mystery of a tragic accident are revealed with some help from kindly phantoms.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“A well-told ghost story with plenty of twists and chills.”
—School Library Journal


Series Book Trailer