The Dead Boys
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The Dead Boys

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  541 ratings  ·  124 reviews
In the desert town of Richland, Washington, there stands a giant sycamore tree. Horribly mutated by nuclear waste, it feeds on the life energy of boys that it snags with its living roots. And when Teddy Matthews moves to town, the tree trains its sights on its next victim. From the start, Teddy knows something is very wrong with Richland--every kid he meets disappears befo...more
ebook, 208 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Putnam Publishing Group
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this book is not about the band. it is about a tree that eats young boys. a common mistake, but there is not really going to be any crossover appeal.

for some reason, it didn't occur to me when i put in for a reviewer copy of this book that it was a children's book. so not only am i getting no respite from my required-school-reading teen spree, but i am actually regressing. which is not a terrible thing, just unexpected.

this would be an excellent story to read aloud to children for halloween. no...more
For a YA book for ages 12 and up this is a really good horror. In fact I was really surprised at the grimness and disgusting descriptions of what happens to these characters. It was creepy and although really short it was a decent read. Where was this when I was that age? I had no idea that YA for 12 year olds had become so graphic. It actually surprised me. This isn't a Harry potter sanitized story- this is gruesome. Since it was such a quick read for an adult the plot was wound up fairly quick...more
P.Q. Glisson
The Dead Boys was a very quick read. I read it in about 4 hours.
It was definitely a young adult book. Though there was no romance or even a girl in the book, it was still a very interesting storyline.
Tree grows by sucking the radiation out of the river. Accidentally comes across a drowning boy and realizes the energy of the boy is even better than the radiation, therefore, lures other boys through the years to suck their energy as well, but making sure not to kill its victims.
Then Teddy moves t...more
Jaquan Starling
I just expected so much more from this book I was disappointed the plot seemed so good it was just like "I need to read this" and I finished in one day and it wasn't all that great
Wendy Hines

Years ago, the government dumped their nuclear waste in water and streams. They know better now, but in the small town of Richland, it bore consequence.

A sycamore tree drew it's energy from the waste in the earth, it's branches creeping and digging deeper and further. Then, when it could not survive on that energy alone, it found that it could live on the life force of humans, namely twelve year old boys. It didn't kill the boys, but kept them in a space between the living and the dead.

When Tedd...more
Mishel Zabala
My rating: 4/5 stars

I haven't read many middle-grade novels and I know I've never read any novels featuring killer trees... Honestly, I stray away from the younger side of the YA genre. I probably shouldn't say no to a particular group of books anymore because most of the time I enjoy the ones I normally think I wouldn't. But I digress... I quickly gobbled up The Dead Boys. It was tough to put the book down to be quite honest. I just had to know what happened to Teddy and all those...well, dead...more
Oh my goodness what a book! I started reading it on Sunday evening and didn't stop until I was done. At first I found it super creepy. When I was little I was very easily scared by noises outside my window, so one of the first scenes with him in bed at night had me curled up in the the corner of my couch eyes wide heart pounding! Ok I did calm down after that but as Teddy met the different boys I kept wanting to yell at him to run, run away fast! I think the worse came when headed out in the mid...more
Julie Gardner
Teddy moves to town with his mother who is starting her new job at "the lab." (This also, conveniently, keeps her out of Teddy's hair most of the time, allowing him to wander the town without any grown-ups getting in the way). As he begins looking around the town for some kids to play with, he keeps running into boys who talk funny, are dressed weirdly, and have some sort of accident or disappear when he tries to find them again. He also takes note of the the abandoned house next door, and the g...more
Ryan G
I've been debating whether or not I wanted to stop reviewing YA until my son is a little older to read them. It seems that for the most part I either really like them or can do without. I think I'm going to have to keep reading them if they are anything like The Dead Boys.

This book is only 201 pages, but where it lacks in length it more than makes it up in storytelling. It's not every boy that can move to a new town and deal with a tree that is trying to eat him. Teddy is a strong young man who...more
When Teddy Matthews moves with his mother to the desert town of Richland, Washington, he is not overly thrilled. He's left his friends and school behind and has moved into a new home where he'll have to start anew.

Upon his mother's bickering that he cannot remain indoors and must venture out to make new friends - he finds himself drawn to the giant sycamore tree in the yard of the abandoned house next door. A tree that has been mutated by nuclear waste - which in turn has taken a life of its own...more
Eleni ( La Femme Readers )
The Dead Boys had a phantasmic yet spooky concept that would appeal to Middle Grade and Young Adult readers. Royce's conveyed events contributed a distinct fluidity that quickly turned into a fast-paced tale. Due to nuclear waste, Richland's hidden tree of doom pried energy from twelve year old boys. Every ten years, this monstrous, life-draining plant sought out a new victim. The moment Teddy arrived to the neighborhood, his unfortunate location stirred the tree's unnatural yearning. Teddy was...more
I could feel the goosebumps while reading this book. Remember those moments as a child where you look out the window and the tree nearby looks eerie and even human-like? The Dead Boys takes this fear and adds a dream-like world on top of that. The horror elements in this book are supremely well done. The fear is real enough to feel, and the mystery is heightened as Teddy gets closer to solving the secret of the dead boys. These are important to enjoy a horror novel and I think the author does a...more
Things I Liked:
This was a deliciously creepy story. I'm not a fan of horror or scary stories generally, but this one was quite good. I loved the disturbing situation that Buckingham created for Teddy and especially the evil tree force. It is an imaginative and really vivid story that will have you breaking out in goosebumps and watching out for trees over your shoulder. A perfect Halloween read, I'd say (too bad I read it in January).

Things I Didn't Like:
The fantasy element in the story was not...more
OK--I'll never look at an old gnarly tree in the same way again.

What a great concept: nuclear radiation from an old weapons plant in Teddy's new town has mutated the huge tree in the yard next door, so that it likes to catch boys, drain the life out of them, and keep them half dead to feed on. Every ten years, a 12-year-old disappears. It's been ten years, and Teddy is twelve. Uh-oh. His mom encourages him to get out and meet new kids (it's summer), but all the boys he meets turn out to be dead...more
For a book I just picked up because of the font on the cover, this book was great. I hadn't heard of it beforehand, and usually one-offs by unknown authors in the kids' section have about a 10% chance of pleasing me. But I liked this one! It wasn't mind-blowing, but it was great in terms of sheer horror. I loved the creepy tree drawing at the beginning of each chapter and how its claw-like branches get long and longer as the boy runs from it. Very visually chilling. I read it a while ago and I s...more

Are you a tree hugger? If so, you may find yourself reconsidering after reading this super creepy story of a tree that lives off the life force of young boys!

Almost as soon as he move to the small desert town, Teddy realizes something isn't quite right in Richland. The abandon house next door gives him the chills, but really makes him shudder is the imposing sycamore tree that seems to be thriving despite the climate. Even thought Teddy is reluctant, his...more
This is not a book I would have been able to read as a child, let alone curl up with it right before bed. I read it in about two hours straight. I kept telling myself, well, I'll just take a break to finish my holiday cards after this chapter. Four chapters later, I was like, well, I can take a break to start wrapping Christmas gifts. Once I hit the middle of the book, I realized all resistance was futile and climbed into bed to see it through to the end.

I like the pacing of this story - the act...more
This book is pretty creepy. For me, the creepiness was compounded by the "about the author," which appears at the beginning of my ARC, telling a bit about Buckingham's childhood in Richland, downstream from a nuclear power plant and with a huge and gnarly sycamore tree in his back yard. If this ends up coming at the end of the published book, I think it'll add a little chill after everything is over and done with. Because I read it at the beginning, I kept thinking, "This is a real place!" even...more
Mar 09, 2012 Kate rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kate by: Isinglass Award nominee, Teen Book Club selection
Teddy just moved to a new town, where his mother will be starting a job at the nuclear power plant. Next door to his house there's a tree that years ago sucked up some toxic waste, then developed a taste for 12-year-old boys. Teddy keeps meeting kids his age, who talk and dress funny. Albert runs from a bully and floats down the river. Walter jumps into a ditch and gets buried. When Teddy tries to show the police, suddenly the landscape has changed. Quickly Teddy figures out that the boys he's b...more
Lauren (Likes Literature)
I read this book a few years ago, underestimating its creepiness. I won't go into detail about it, I'll just say that what it lacks for in length, it more than makes up for in the engrossing plot and action that never stops. I give this book 5 stars not because it was the best book ever, not even close, but because you will never forget it. It's scary and haunting in a way that doesn't keep you up at night, but is constantly tugging at the back of your mind.
Emily Northcutt
It's been a while since I read a good ghost story and this one really hit the mark. It's perfect for a middle school/upper elementary reader who wants a creepy tale that isn't of an intimidating length. Teddy is a 12-year-old boy who moves to Richland, WA when his mother gets a new job. They arrive to find that their new house is next to a run-down property that features a tree that eats children - specifically it prefers to consume a 12-year-old boy every ten years and it has decided that Teddy...more
Renee Becker
This is a 2013-14 Florida Sunshine State Young Readers selection. Being a language arts teacher, I thought I'd give it a go. I loved it! Very engaging right from the beginning, it tells the present-day story of Teddy, whose mother just got a new job in the nuclear plant that's been around since WWII. Teddy tries to make some new friends, but each boy he meets mysteriously disappears. The tree next door tries to kill him. Are the two connected?

It only took about an hour for me to read, as it is...more
Teddy, with his mom, move to a new house in a new town when she gets a new job at the nuclear plant. Mom is anxious for Teddy to make new friends but he finds that it isn't going to be easy especially when the boys he does meet are in strange situations and then they disappear. It turns out the boys are somehow related to the sinister sycamore tree in the neighboring yard that seems to be trying to get him..

The mysterious boys, the creepy tree and Teddy's adventures kept me entertained and wanti...more
Every 10 years a 12year old boy in Richland, WA goes missing. The body is never found and the boy is never seen again. Well that is not entirely true. The next boy to go missing sees them.

Teddy has just moved to Richland because his mom got a job at the Hanford Nuclear Power Plant. As soon as they get there Teddy has a weird feeling about the place. The house across the street is abandoned and he swears the tree keeps moving in unnatural ways. Boys from different decades keep showing up and the...more
Star (The Bibliophilic Book Blog)
Teddy is usually a kid who isn't very curious about much. He gets by and lays low, staying out of trouble for the most part. Then he's uprooted from his home and moved out to a small Washington town where his mom has a job at the nuclear plant right outside town. The town has a nasty history of nuclear waster dumping and disappearing twelve-year-old boys. Teddy gets caught in timeslips and has to figure out what is going on before it's too late to save himself.

This book had a very unusual and in...more
Addison Children
Teddy goes out to make friends in this new town where his mother is employed by the nuclear power plant. Each boy he meets encourages Teddy in risky behavior then dies. Meanwhile the abandoned house next door has one seriously creepy sycamore in the backyard. Will Teddy figure out what is going on or die trying? Great horror/suspense. Great Boy Book.
Jose Cavaliere
I think it's one of the best books I've read.... Still very creepy!
I really recommend this to young adults.
Although its pretty scary for me i get scare easily most of the time, OK ALOT.
Really great book though. Even if you get a concern of the title or the front cover... Remember (never gouge a book by its cover)
Ellz Readz
My thoughts...At 208 pages, this MG novel would be perfect for readers of all ages, especially young boys. This is one of those stories that make you leave the light on when you sleep and check under the bed. It was very entertaining and well written.

The characters in The Dead Boys were very well written. Teddy, the new kid on the block ventures out to make some new friends. He quickly meets the town bully and his victim, and several other boys that are full of personality. They all seem very i...more
I will be giving HUGE, GNARLY trees a wide berth after reading this book! Wonderful and unique storyline (which I believe will stay with me for a long time) - each chapter is a "cliff-hanger" think - I'll finish this chapter and then actually get up and do something, but it just doesn't work out that way. This is a quick read. The spookiness and the mystery all rolled into one really works for this story. After a move to Washington with his mom, Teddy starts looking for new friends, but a...more
Cathy Hendren
The second Sasquatch book I read this weekend for questions. This one takes place in Richmond, Washington near Handford. Every 10 years, a boy goes missing. Those boys are taken in by a Sycamore tree that needs the boys energy to survive. Teddy is the right age and the tree wants him.
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Royce Buckingham lives in Bellingham, Washington, with his wife and sons.
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