While tracking clues from a secret code penciled in the margins
of mystery novels at a public library, Derek Knowles-Collier
discovers a time capsule, an unpublished author and a gravestone
that may finally put his haunting past to rest.
At Queensview Elementary, grade-six students are required to
complete a community service unit as part of their school
curriculum. Derek Knowles-Collier was sick when groups were
assigned, so he is stuck with what's leftover: landscape
and repair duty at the local cemetery.
Derek is not happy about his assignment. When he was very young,
his friend Dennis was killed by a car after running into the road
to catch a ball. Ever since, Derek has had recurring nightmares,
and he is afraid that spending time in a cemetery will make it even
harder for him to sleep through the night.
It's a relief, therefore, when his group's
lessons on all aspects of cemetery care are so interesting and
strange that Derek just doesn't have time to dwell on his
experience with death. And when it rains, the lessons take place in
the nearby public library, which takes him out of the cemetery
altogether, at least for an afternoon.
One day, a book arrives at the library, an anonymous donation
that happens every year. On reading the book, Derek and his group
mates find a secret code written on an inside margin. One code
leads to the next, with the last code leading the students to a
Through a series of discoveries and deductions, Derek and his
friends discover who has been sending books to the library every
year. They also discover the truth behind Dennis's
long-ago death, which means that Derek is finally able to put his
terrifying memories (and his nightmares) to rest.
INCLUDES A SECRET CODE FOR READERS TO