Hangman's Curse

Thursday, December 17, 2009
Today I'm reviewing the two stories in two different posts. Here's your first story:
#1 - Hangman's Curse by Frank Peretti, Thomas Nelson Publishing, 2001
Hangman's Curse: The Veritas Project - Volume 1Hangman's Curse - The Veritas Project Volume 1
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Boys and Girls 13+
Summary: Imagine these two kids: she's wearing black lipstick, hair dyed black, both dressed in black, earrings in his lip, spikes on his neck. It's rumored Ian & Crystal are witches. How would you feel if these two approached you? Now imagine these two kids: He's wearing the school letter jacket, she's wearing the latest fashions, they are about as stereotype as you get. He's the star football player, she's the new girl in school - the one the guys are taking notice of. How would you feel if Blake & Elisha approached you? You have no idea what either couple wants, but they are approaching you, what do you feel?

The feelings, the first thoughts of most would be disgust or fear of Ian & Crystal, judgment for looking so weird, condemnation of them, who they are, what they look like.
Now with Blake & Elisha most would hope they were approaching because Blake or Elisha had noticed them. Maybe they would be invited to something, included in the "in-group". One might even feel awe that someone so cool wanted to hang out with them.

The reactions I've described are exactly what the kids of Baker High School had. Ian & Crystal were different and that cost extra at this school. Here's what happens at this school:

Some of the popular kids come up to Ian and demand his lunch money. Crystal screams, but another kid holds her off. A football player shoves Ian against a locker while someone takes the money from Ian's pocket. Ian growls "What did we ever do to you?". The football player replies "You're different and that costs extra around here". Ian and Crystal are let go. As the others walk away, Ian puts his arm around Crystal as she cries angrily at the injustice.

But the story doesn't end there, not like it did 10 years age. Ten years ago Abel Frye was the kid in this situation, just like Ian and Crystal are now. Abel Frye gave up. He hung himself from the school stairwell. Now it seems his ghost is back to haunt the school. Ian & Crystal seem to have a connection with him and can apparently make him do things to those who are against them. Three students are already gone, more are going... they are in the hospital... near death. The only connection between them? Abel Frye.

The result of this? Close the school? No. Arrest the witches? No, there's no proof of anything. Adults certainly don't believe a ghost is causing these problems. Call in the Veritas Project? Yes! The Veritas Project is a team of investigators sent to work undercover to find the TRUTH behind things going on. They work from a Judeo Christian point of view, believing there is ultimate truth. What they discover will shock you and potentially change your life.

This book is powerful, it uses elements of fear and suspense to make it's point. I highly recommend it to every teenager and recommend all adults of teenager make it required reading for themselves and their teens! ;-) I also recommend you not let young ones read it. It is too powerfully suspenseful and scary for that. Even the illustrations in the book are frightening! The book does communicate Biblical truths, but the focus is on the drama, not preaching a sermon. I think you'll be surprised and pleased with what you find in this book. It's pretty powerful!


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