The Dead Boys is a novel by Royce Buckingham from Putnam Juvenile.
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 before his eyes. A trip to the cemetery confirms that these boys are actually dead and trying to lure him to the tree. But that knowledge is no help when Teddy is swept into the tree's world, a dark version of Richland from which there is no escape . . .
The Dead Boys was submitted for review and I retain my copy.
Teddy Matthews is a 12 year old boy who has moved to Richland with his Mom - she has gotten a new job at the nuclear plant in town.
When his Mom encourages Teddy to go out and make friends, he hops on his bike and sets out to tour the town.
What Teddy finds is a couple of things out of the ordinary - boys, his age - who look and talk as if they are from another time. Places that look one way the first time he sees them - and totally different when he goes back again.
And the tree across the street - it is just creepy.
Teddy starts looking for clues - and what he finds is hard to believe. Everything leads Teddy back to the tree.
The Dead Boys is very eerie - in a Stephen King kind of way - only on a smaller scale because this is a book for ages 9-12.
I enjoyed The Dead Boys and give it 4 out of 5 stars.