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Joan Lowery Nixon

Paula's Young Adult Literature Website

Home | Topic 1 | Classic Novel | Graphic Novel | Printz Award | Topic 2 | Speak | Squashed | Annie on My Mind | Frenchtown Summer | Topic 3 | Chris Crutcher | Joan Lowery Nixon | Will Hobbs | Author Study - Biography | Author Study - Bibliography | Author Study - Analysis | Topic 4 | William Sleator | Phillip Pullman | Annette Curtis Klause | Topic 5 | Blood Secret | A Single Shard | Gary Paulsen | Millton Meltzer | Topic 6 | Heartbeat | Seeing the Blue Between | YA Poetry Collection

Whispers from the Dead 

Nixon, Joan Lowery. 1989. WHISPERS FROM THE DEAD. New York: Delacorte Press. ISBN: 0385298099.


Joan Lowery Nixon has created a very compelling page turner.  WHISPERS FROM THE DEAD is an intriguing mystery novel that begins in Springdale, Missouri where Sarah Darnell the protagonist in the story lives.  She is invited to go swimming with her friends at a nearby lake.  As she is swimming she hears Kent yell, “Cannonball!” and as he slams into her she is driven downward through the icy waters of the lake only to become tangled in some vines.  Sarah almost drowns and has a near death experience.  She develops a “haunted feeling” and seems to be a link between two worlds.  As the story progresses, Sarah and her family move to Houston hoping to put her tragic experience behind them.  Her father has found a wonderful new house and has gotten a great deal on it.  However, the minute Sarah steps through the doorway of her family's new home, she feels a smothering cold mist, and hears the echo of a scream and a heartbreaking whisper in Spanish, "Help me!"  Sarah feels compelled to find out who is trying to reach her.  She has a feeling that something terrible has happened in the house.  It is not until after the family has moved into the house do they find out someone was murdered there.  The previous owner’s son had been charged with the murder that had occurred.  Sarah starts to see the murder through visions that she is having.  Through a series of suspenseful events Sarah becomes unknowingly involved with the murderer, therefore endangering her life.  Publisher’s Weekly states, “A master at creating compelling suspense novels, Nixon has written yet another carefully plotted, subtly terrifying thriller.”  WHISPERS FROM THE DEAD is a captivating and compelling mystery novel that will keep the reader intrigued from the first page to the last.  



Will Hobbs







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