Picture the Dead

Cover Art from: picturethedead.com
Cover Art from: picturethedead.com

Griffin, A., & Brown, L. (2010). Picture the dead. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks Fire.

ISBN: 9781402268342

This is an interesting book for readers age 12-17 by Barnes and Nobel though I can see younger readers enjoying the book too, I would lower the suggested age by a few years to around nine or ten depending on the reader. The book does feature ghosts and some unpleasant depictions of a Civil War prison camp that may not be suitable for younger readers. The book is very interesting as it a journal and scrapbook of a young women who’s fiance has been killed during the Civil War. His brother has made it home though he is injured and she finds herself drawn to him. She believes that marrying him may be her only chance for a happy future. Something doesn’t feel right though and she uncovers terrible secrets about her first fiance that she can barely believe. Something is still bothering her though so she digs even deeper and discovers that the surviving brother not only blamed his dead brother for his misdeeds but he is also the one who killed him and is only after our heroine for her vast inheritance she didn’t know about. He attempts to drown her but she survives and sets out to make her own way.

The artwork in the book is really unique as it depicts photos from the story as well as other objects she has collected for her scrapbook including letters, newspaper articles and a menu from an event she attended. I was able to participate in a discussion with the illustrator and co-author Lisa Brown through the materials for tweens class I am taking at San Jose State University. She told us that the illustrations in the book are closely based off of photos that she found during her research for the book. This is a great look at what life was like for people who had family fighting in the Civil War as well as great example of Gothic Horror.

Picture the Dead

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