The Dead Boys pits a sentient sycamore tree against a 12 year old boy named Teddy in a life or death struggle. Imagine a gigantic tree that can reach its limbs out to grab you! Teddy and his mom have moved to Richland so she can take a job at a nuclear power plant. Teddy is left to shift for himself most days while his mom works. It doesn’t take long for Teddy to run across some boys that seem to be his age, but they don’t seem to be from the modern age. Before long, Teddy learns that the sycamore tree next door has been mutated by the nuclear waste in the groundwater. But the tree needs energy to keep growing–energy it saps from some missing 12 year old boys. Teddy seems to be next on the tree’s menu, unless he can outwit the deadly sycamore. This is an especially good read for elementary age boys. Even reluctant readers will get sucked into the action. Incidentally, the government really did dump nuclear waste into the water of Richland, Washington, the author’s real hometown, until 1971.
reviewed by Victoria