The Hand
by J. L. Simmons
Trafford Publishing

"Trailing behind the hand was part of a raw bone dragging the ground. The bone was cut above the wrist."

In May of 1992, a bizarre and mysterious accident occurred in an Ohio campground and forever scarred the lives of the campers and the park ranger who witnessed it. Two men arguing led to their grizzly murders over an open fire, and a disembodied but sentient hand attacks Ranger Washington as he frantically calls for backup. Now, years later, a father, his children, and their young friends are all spending a few days at the campsite to enjoy the great outdoors. When the party comes across the former Ranger Washington, the mystery of the hand is brought back to light once again, and the campers are determined to learn everything that they can about the mysterious story and how to break the curse and restore peace to the campsite once and for all.

Reminiscent of a classic scary campfire tale, this story mixes suspense, the occult, and horror in a package that is not too gruesome to deter younger readers but sinister enough to leave a light on at night. Large full-color illustrations cover key scenes from Keef Washington's firewood sale at his house to the bloody and gruesome scene of the two dead campers found with the hand detached. Because this is a tale like those meant to be told on a dark night around the campsite, it's not a terribly long read, but it does have a good pace and keeps the action coming even when the sun is out and danger seems to be far away. While the darker subject material may scare away younger readers, this is a good title for older kids and parents to share.

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