Embassy of the Dead
by Will Mabbitt; illus by Taryn Knight
272 pages; ages 8-12
Walker Books, US (Candlewick) 2020
If Jake had been paying attention to his surroundings, he might have avoided a whole lot of trouble. If he hadn’t been texting while walking, if he’d stuck to his regular route home from school instead of taking the shortcut through the alley … if he hadn’t taken the package from the stranger.
But then, if he’d been paying attention, we’d never have this delightfully creepy, semi-scary story of a kid who comes into possession of a severed finger and a series of really unfortunate events that include:
- a grim reaper
- a ghost at a girl’s school
- the very unhappy (but not departed) dead
- a car chase involving a camper van
- underage driving
- the Embassy of the Dead
- and political intrigue and corruption
Whatever you do, do not sign that agreement! Better to just skip those first pages and dive into the story without acknowledging the Embassy at—
Well, hello there. The previous reviewer has mysteriously disappeared. How unfortunate. And look, a delightful tale about a bad boy who steals a package not meant for him, steals his dad’s van, and rudely barges into the Embassy without an invitation or proper credentials. Live people are not allowed in the Embassy. Especially kids. And once we capture him we can finish with our scheme to defraud the living.