Cohen delivers her fourth shiveringly fun middle grade novel with the standalone book, Shadow Grave.
Primarily set in an isolated New Hampshire logging town where nothing is quite what it seems, readers meet twelve year old Arlo after a difficult year dealing with his mom’s illness, her tentative recovery, and his own resulting anxiety. Arlo, his younger sister Lola, and their mom venture together on a family road trip that’s meant to offer a fun break together, but a disorienting car accident throws off their plans. The wreck totals the car and leaves their mom with a seriously injured foot, broken phone, and no way to call for help. The trio make their way through a strange forest and arrive in the dreary, fictional town of Livermore, where instead of assistance or concern they find a creepy town without electricity. Full of peculiar residents, odd occurrences, and ominous warnings, Arlo struggles but eventually manages to confront his fears while investigating secrets that the whole town seems complicit in hiding. The clarity of Arlo’s emotional life enhances the increasing tension around the family’s need to escape Livermore in this imaginative, supernatural page turner. The sharp imagery and immersive storytelling capture a full range of horrors, from the physical vulnerability of broken bones to unsettling situations, and otherworldly threats. A delightful treat for fans of suspense and thrills.
Author Marina Cohen will join Lora Senf (The Clackity, 2022), Kim Ventrella (The Secret Life of Sam, 2020), and David Neilsen (Beyond the Doors, 2017) for a virtual visit to Heights Libraries on January 25 at 4 p.m. to talk about writing spooky middle grade fiction. Readers and aspiring young authors won’t want to miss this chance to meet these authors as we celebrate stories that go bump in the night.
Registration begins January 11.