I received this book for free from Library, NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Dead Boy by Laurel GaleDead Boy by Laurel Gale
Published by Crown Publishing Group, Pengiun on September 29, 2015
Genres: Middle Grade
Pages: 256
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library, NetGalley
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A darkly funny and literary debut novel about a dead boy named Crow who has a chance at friendship - and a chance at getting his life back

Just because you’re dead doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a life.

Crow Darlingson isn’t like other kids. He stinks. He’s got maggots. His body parts fall off at inopportune moments. (His mom always sews them back on, though.) And he hasn’t been able to sleep in years. Not since waking up from death.

But worse than the maggots is how lonely Crow feels. When Melody Plympton moves in next door, Crow can’t resist the chance to finally make a friend. With Melody around he may even have a shot at getting his life back from the mysterious wish-granting creature living in the park. But first there are tests to pass. And it will mean risking the only friend he’s had in years.

Keeping with my Middle Grade reading theme this month, my youngest daughter and I are reviewing the books we’ve been reading together since the summer. This review will be different than any of my others for a couple of reasons. 1) It’s already been reviewed here by my eldest but from when she read it in elementary school. 2) my youngest will be writing her own review as well.

Quick summary: Crow is dead, or well, undead. He’s a couple years after his death date, he’s got maggots, his mom frequently has to sew his body parts back together, and he lives alone in his room, isolated from everything. He has heard about a creature that lives under the park that will grant wishes if you can pass its tests, and he wants to wish to be alive again. But his wish becomes so much more complicated than that. Turns out his parents wished him back to life and that’s how it all started. So how can a dead boy wish himself back to life if he can never leave his room?

My youngest’s review:

Crow is funny because his eye falls out and he smells bad and keeps spraying air freshener. He convinced his mom that he was going trick or treating and he put a sheet over himself like a ghost and went as a ghost. Then some bullies were being mean and throwing firecrackers and his sheet caught on fire so he had to take it off. Then he looked like a dead zombie so it was like he still had a costume on anyway.

He made a friend and they wanted to see the Meera to get wishes. His friend Melody wanted to wish to know all about magic and Crow wanted to be alive again. But the bullies were there too and they got caught. Crow and Melody had to decide to save them or not. Then Crow wished to save them instead of being alive so the Meera did, but Crow was still dead. Crow started remembering some things and knew he had to go back to the Meera, even if he stayed dead and didn’t get another wish. He and Melody did go back and made everything normal again. They freed the Meera and it was the end. This is what I thought about Dead Boy.

My eldest’s review from 2015 (link to the original review):

In Dead Boy we find out the main character Crow is dead, and his parents won’t let him go outside. They’re afraid that if people find out he’s dead, that he’ll get taken away and experimented on. But what they don’t know is that he’s sneaking out at night.

Crow meets a friend during the day, so they plan to sneak out at midnight. Melody and Crow become really good friends, and she finds out he’s dead. But she doesn’t mind.

After the couple of nights they hang out together, they decide to meet up on Halloween night to find what made Crow stay alive after he died. He doesn’t remember how he died. When they go to the park they see a monster with glowing red eyes, and they see it can change into anything.

At the end, he wishes to be a real live boy, but you’ll have to read to find out what happens.

I liked it so much, I bought a copy when I met her at my Library last year. It was my first autographed book!

***ARC courtesy of Crown Books via Netgalley