Mothman’s Curse

Mothman's CurseWritten by Christine Hayes, Illustrated by James K. Hindle

Josie and her two younger brothers, Fox and Mason, live in the most haunted town in America.

Plenty of places claim to be the most haunted. But Athens, Ohio, has something those other places don’t. Mothman. He’s every bit as repulsive as he sounds: a dark, hulking figure, seven feet tall, with ragged, brittle wings and burning red eyes. Technically he belongs to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, where dozens died when the Silver Bridge collapsed in ’67. Scores of people spotted Mothman in the year before the disaster. No one knew if he was there to help or harm. He’s been called a ghost, an alien, and a monster. I’ve always thought death omen described him best. Point Pleasant is forty miles from Athens. Mothman was never ours to claim, and I was glad. Until this spring, when Mothman claimed Athens instead.

When Josie, Fox and Mason find an old Polaroid camera in the items up for auction at their father’s auction house, they discover the camera is haunted by the ghost of local recluse, John Goodrich. Every picture taken has the ghost in it. But the strange thing is, there is not any film in the old camera. Now the three find themselves drawn into a hundred year old mystery. This mystery revolves around Mothman, a cursed piece of jewelry, a desperate spirit, and natural disasters all weaving together into a frightening puzzle that Josie must solve to break the curse and save her own life. Mothman’s Curse is the first novel by local author Christine Hayes. I think readers will be drawn into this story about the mysterious Mothman. I like the way she used that legend and actual facts from the events in West Virginia, to create a totally new and original story. I like how her main characters are siblings who truly love each other and stick together to solve the mystery. It is just them, as their mother has died several years before, their father has a terrible accident (did he see Mothman?) landing him in the hospital and their aunt and uncle have their hands full taking care of them and the auction house. Their only ally is John Goodrich’s ghost, who is desperate to get Josie to understand him before it is too late. This is a great mysterious story that is dark and creepy, but just right for middle school grade readers.

Review by Renee Larsen, Hillside Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 5-8

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Mothman’s Curse
Written by Christine Hayes, Illustrated by James K. Hindle
Roaring Brook Press
310 pages
Release Date: June 16, 2015

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