Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Pricker Boy” as Want to Read:
The Pricker Boy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Pricker Boy

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  183 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Some stories draw blood. Some truths won’t stay buried.

He was human once, or so they say. The son of a fur trapper, he was taunted by his peers and tricked into one of his own father’s traps. By the time anybody found it, the trap’s vicious teeth were empty, pried open and overgrown. It was said the brambles themselves had reached out and taken pity on that boy; that his s
ebook, 288 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Pricker Boy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Pricker Boy

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 15, 2009 Shasta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 08, 2012 Shawna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
The story of the Pricker Boy has been giving Stucks and his friends the chills for years. This year they decide to investigate the woods and find out if the Pricker Boy is real. They start to see and hear strange things, and have horrible nightmares. They can't explain what's going on; perhaps they just have overactive imaginations.

I like the concept of the book, but I feel like it's an almost there book. For me, the book doesn't flow well. The supernatural things seem to be in there just to ad
Danielle Tauscher
Nov 09, 2009 Danielle Tauscher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by McKenzie Tritt for

Stucks and his summer friends are ready for another warm, fun-filled vacation. They get just the opposite, however.

The Pricker Boy, a young boy who was trapped by his own father's fur trap and taken in by the brambles, his skin turning to thorns, is back. When the group of friends discover their offerings they left for the Pricker Boy still in the woods, offerings meant to keep him at bay, everything changes for the worse.

The friends no longer know
Jan 29, 2010 Kristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
THE PRICKER BOY is the best kind of horror story; the kind that leaves the reader - and the characters - wondering if it was just your imagination, or a dream, or a trick of the light. Reade Scott Whinnem told an interviewer that the novel was inspired by a nightmare he had as a boy, and I believe it. Because every page of this book is saturated with the kind of fears you thought you left in your childhood. Gnarled trees that look like witches' hands. Abandoned houses tucked away in the woods. S ...more
Sandra Stiles
Jun 03, 2010 Sandra Stiles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, horror
Stucks Cumberland is ready for summer vacation. It is a time when many of his friends return to their vacation homes. However, their vacation doesn't go the way they plan. Something is in the woods. No one goes beyond Widow's Stone for fear of running into the Pricker Boy.

The Pricker Boy was a young boy tricked into believing his fur trapping father was keeping his mother in a cage in the forest and feeding her raw bits of meat. The boy goes looking for his mother. When he doesn't return, the ki
Jul 19, 2010 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I've read in a long time. Perfect blend of absolutely terrifyingly creepy (I had to put it down at night sometimes, and just looking at the cover gives me the shivers), and sadly sweet. A great summer story, a great story about friends, and absolutely beautifully written. I'm glad I found this book!
Jul 02, 2010 McKenzie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reade Scott Whinnem has created what can only be described as a modern-day Lord of the Flies. This absolutely terrifying story follows a group of friends throughout their summer as they try to figure out why they are being tormented by the Pricker Boy. Everything they believe will be questioned, and no one will be trusted.

The Pricker Boy was completely enthralling, yet horrifying. The storyline instantly piqued my interest, as I was in the mood for something scary. On a trip into the woods, the
Erin Sterling
A horror story started by friends about a "pricker boy" who is made up of thorns and comes to take children away is made-up, right? That's what it seems, until Stucks and his friends find a package of all their toys each of them every left on a "Widow's Walk", which was supposed to ward off the Pricker Boy. A creepy story not to be read before bedtime that also deals with friends growing apart as they get older. I liked how the book played with what was real and what wasn't, leaving me wondering ...more
Sep 11, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stucks Cumberland is used to spending his summers at his parents lake house. It should be peaceful and serene with lots of swimming and relaxation. But there is an ancient, mysterious creature lurking in the woods. It's definitely not human, and local legend says its body is covered in sharp thorns, and it's on the hunt for new victims. Stucks and his friends have been haunted by nightmares, and begin to see strange and terrible things in the woods near their house. Is the Pricker Boy just part ...more
Oct 21, 2010 Jimmy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Just finished - gave it two (2) stars out of five (5). I know that seems low, but two stars on here means "it was ok", which is exactly what this book was to me: ok. I was a little let down, mainly because I was expecting a good, old-fashioned ghost story. Heck, the book was even labeled "Horror" in our library, and many of the reviews I read said the book was "terrifying". Let me state for the record that this is NOT a horror book. Surprisingly, the Pricker Boy is more about emotional drama to ...more
Amy Sherman
As a ghost story, this book has some very creepy moments. As a drama dealing with some serious problems, this book has some very painful moments. What kills it:
1) If you, a budding writer, specifically designate a character as a smartass, you had better make damn sure said character is, in fact, clever and hilarious.
2) Nobody, least of all teenagers--who are expert code-switchers, by the way--says "items," they say "things." Nobody says "placed," they say "put." Nobody, not even writers, speaks
Mrs. Nelson's
May 29, 2011 Mrs. Nelson's rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What if the ghost tale you told around the campfire started to come true? For Stucks and his friends it has. Since they were small they have told tales about the Pricker Boy—a once-human boy who is now more plant than boy and who lives among the thorn bushes that infest the woods just beyond the kids’ campfire circle. When they were young they gave offerings to Pricker Boy to keep him pacified, but this summer their offerings have been returned. Is it one of the group playing a practical joke? O ...more
Jul 10, 2011 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-summer
This is a campfire story that has been brought to life. GREAT characters - each have their own quirks. A group of young people who spend each summer together, but now must face the challenge of "The Pricker Boy" head on during this summer. During summers before they have left him "offerings" so he wouldn't take them, but now he has rejected all those offerings and sent them back. So many twists and turns in this story - one major one really blew me away! I was not expecting it all. The author le ...more
Aug 24, 2011 Jenna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My friends made endless fun of me as soon as I said the name of this book, but this scared the pants off of me. Stucks is a year-round resident of a small lakeside community. Every summer he and his friends leave offerings for the Pricker Boy - a boy who got lost in the pricker bushes around the lake and now seeks to drag away the unwary. Perhaps the spookiest part (although there were many for yours truly) was when the children made their offerings. One person was the lookout while the other ve ...more
Oct 03, 2011 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Timeline. That's my project for this book. It keeps you on your toes, because of the constant mental/dream world that exists throughout the book. Hard to separate what's real and what's imagined. Difficult at times but well worth the effort. Not sure how middle schoolers will respond to this book. It's very complex and deals with some serious, sometimes very dark, issues. I would put this on the high school Sequoyah list rather than the middle school list. Very Stephen Kingesque. Take away the o ...more
Dec 11, 2011 Cat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library264

Title: The Pricker Boy
Author: Read Scott Whinnem
Year: 2009
ISBN: 9780375857195
Type: Book
Genre: Horror
Publisher/studio: Random House Books for Young Readers
Age: 11 & up
Annotation/ Teaser:
Ready for the ghost story, make sure you keep the lights on or you will have The Pricker boy on your side.
Not your typical ghost story around the campfire! You will need all the lights on for this one!
Stuck a 14 year old and his best friend Pete live year round at lakeside community and aw
Miss Bookiverse
Liebes The Pricker Boy,
das war ein bisschen Liebe auf den ersten Blick. Ich habe dein Cover im Internet gesehen und dachte „Uuh, das sieht aber schön schaurig aus“. Als ich danach deinen Namen und deine Inhaltsangabe las, war es um mich geschehen. Ich wollte dich kennen lernen. Zum Glück meinte der Amor des Amazon Marketplaces es sehr gut mit mir und schickte dich vor kurzem für ein spottbilliges Reiseticket zu mir. Lange hat es nicht gedauert. Ein paar Tage, vielleicht eine Woche, haben wir uns
Aug 10, 2012 Ariana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book after two long and delicious nights of reading.

While it is easy to discuss the absolutely creepy parts of the plot, the real story is in the friendships portrayed in the novel. It took me right back to my childhood - the friends that I genuinely liked, the ones that I liked but also enjoyed poking fun at, and the ones that drifted away. It was well written and the plot never slowed. And as mentioned before, the characters were realistic and exciting to follow. I felt that t
I picked this book up at a book warehouse sale. That cover rocks my face off. I think the book had a lot of potential. It was interesting and creepy and I was definitely surprised by some turn of events, but it wasn't enough for me. For middle schoolers, it might be perfect, however. I loved the characters and really read the story for them.
Mar 21, 2013 Krissy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book but it was sad and scary because his friend Pete kills himself because he has an anger disorder and he hits his brother Cricket and he becomes silent and he makes a scar on his other friends wrist with his finger nail they kept slashing each other until someone says I'm gay. It was scary because the pricker boy kills his cat and rips it in half and pulls its insides out. Also it attacks them and they have to run away and they see stuff in the woods its just creepy but re ...more
It took me the longest to figure out there was a love/hate relationship established between the reader and the protagonist, Stucks Cumberland. For much of the novel, I had to spend my time alternating between disliking his unkind behavior towards his friends, and then enjoying the ways he and his brother, Stanley, got along. So on one side, he's a lovely older brother to an uncanny little boy, but on the other hand, he's incredibly rude to those who consider him a friend. I only wish there were ...more
Karla Brading
Nov 12, 2014 Karla Brading rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A well written and horrifying tale that becomes beautiful and sad all at once. Loved every page; every character and every moment.
Feb 25, 2015 Ruby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Omg I started a it slow but then I just couldn't put it down, it got more and more interesting bring in the back story to the present giving every little thing that was happening more depth and understanding. My favorite character had to be Cricket , why wouldnt he be, he was the one that understood the least but overall knew everything from the beginning. Poor Cricket. OVERALL I loved the book it was interesting, using great details for imagery and it simply was a great thriller. Please read i ...more
Courtney Skelton
Apr 21, 2015 Courtney Skelton rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Pricker Boy drew me in with a very ominous looking figure on the cover. It seemed to say that something very sinister. The synopsis also made me put down good money on the book as it read and felt like a thought provoking fantasy story with a horror chill to it. I could not have been more wrong. Poorly written. The story jumped around way too much, which limited any kind of flow to the story. The characters were underdeveloped to the point that it was arduous trying to relate to and or get t ...more
( sage // hiatus ) ⋆
Contains Spoilers

Was any of it even true? If the whole thing was his imagination then that means there was never a story. But the story overall was good, confusing and mysterious but at the same time, it tugged at your heart. I'm still confused though, I didn't understand why Pete changed? Or how he was talking to Stucks the whole time in the present tense, but (view spoiler)? Other than that, it was good! I liked this book and I recommend it.
Alanna P
Jan 31, 2016 Alanna P rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Based on the IRL I did not expect this book to be so enthralling. Everybody has a Pricker Boy to contend with and offering him the very best gifts only works for so long before we must confront him. Confronting him alone often feels like the only choice, but everyone needs a good friend or three to help us see what's right in front of our face.

Enough about the existentialism of an adult view, this is a GREAT story for all ages! The characters feel as though they are inviting the reader into thei
Definitely not for middle school; in the first 20 pages or so, you'll come across some very fowl language that's totally uncalled for. Maybe if the rest of the novel was engaging it would be OK, but after I read on for 50 more pages, there were too many characters and situations at once that it made it impossible to follow along. Definitely not scary and not an interesting read.
Cecilia Rodriguez
Narrated by Stucks, the story is set in a small town with a small "forest."
The neighboring children all take turns making up "fire side" stories involving the Pricker Boy.
The plot has themes addressing bullying, guilt, suicide and sexual orientation.
Whinnem's plot has a slight similarity to Stephen King's short story: "The Body."
This is a good book for fans of psychological horror.
Admittedly, I don't read much horror. But this book dug under my skin in new ways.

It felt real - the interpersonal drama, the mix of good and bad and not knowing what to make of characters and loving people even as they hurt you, trying to know when to draw your boundaries. The flow between Now and Then, memories coloring everything you do and see, not being able to get away from the past.

The "projector reel" in Stucks' head, powerful images overlaying the world around him in the climax - I've
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • King of Thorn, Vol. 6
  • ゆかりズム 2 (Yukarism, #2)
  • The Woods, Vol. 2: The Swarm
  • Watersmeet (Watersmeet, #1)
  • Mushishi, Vol. 5
  • Newsgirl
  • Wayward, Volume Two: Ties That Bind (Wayward, #2)
  • So Cute It Hurts!!, Vol. 01
  • Unthinkable
  • Moose
  • The Motherless Oven
  • Es wird keine Helden geben
  • The Case of the Simple Soul (Bad Machinery, #3)
  • Part-Time Princesses
  • 聲の形 3 [Koe no Katachi 3] (A Silent Voice, #3)
  • Fairy Blues (Songs of Magic, #2)
  • Beast
  • Baltimore, Vol. 3: A Passing Stranger and Other Stories

Share This Book