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A. Bates Book ReviewsEssential Books    

Review Rating System
1 ThrillGood Enough To Read
2 ThrillsFun To Read
3 ThrillsGreat To Read
4 ThrillsGives Me Goosebumps


Party Line

4 ThrillsMark has a hard time meeting girls unlike his friend Robbie. So he found a teen party line. It has 4 lines that let a maximum of 4 people on at a time. So he called it a lot to talk to people. After him mom found the telephone bill he was in trouble and told not to call again. His family isn't well off. It's just himself and his mom. His mom is a discount store clerk. They live in an apartment and don't have a car or much money. Mark agreed not to call so that he doesn't make the phone bill cost too much because it would be harder for his mom to pay. Mark's English teacher, Mr. Santos, is weird and strict. Mark never turns in his writing assignments, so Mr. Santos has a hard time with Mark. Mark was given an assignment to write a horror story. When Mark was home he couldn't think of anything to write. He started with a beginning about a kid named Scott that was new in school. He was given a locker and a combination. He went to open it. No one was around in the hallway. He found the locker and spun the combination. It didn't work so he tried it again and it still didn't open. He knew he had the right locker and the right combination so he thought it was jammed. He kicked the locker and it flew open and a bloody arm flew with it. Mark had a writer's block and saw his phone. He was bored so he decided to call the party line. There were 4 people on. Mark didn't really talk he just listened and not too long because he heard his mom come home. At school Mr. Santos was surprised because Mark was turning in an assignment in time. That afternoon Mark got bored and called the party line. He went on line 4 there was a girl named Nicky who sounded very young on. She said she was 15. Then someone else came on named Ben. Nicky and Ben asked questions and things like that. Nicky asked if Mark was still on but he forgot to answer so she thought he wasn't on. Ben was asking for Nicky's phone number but Nicky didn't want to give it out so they planned to meet again. Mark went on later that night and there was a girl named Janine on. She taught him a way to make a sound that sounded like a sign-off tone so it would fool the people on the line and maybe the computer that counts how long they were on. Janine and Mark had a good conversation. Then they both signed off. Mark went on again and there was a voice that told him it was a private conversation so Mark pressed the sign off tone to make him think he signed off and he listened. It was Nicky and Ben. Nicky was 5'5"; she had brown curly hair, weighed 110lbs. She loved to take long walks in a big field. Mark recognized Ben's voice from somewhere. They all rang off. Mark was bored so he decided to go to their school dance. He just stood around though. Then a girl named Marcy came up to him and talked Then left. A girl named Libby called him an idiot because Marcy was waiting for Mark to ask her to dance. Mark didn't realize that. The next day Mark saw the newspaper. It said that the mayor's daughter Nicole was missing. Mark knew her from somewhere, the brown curly hair. He read the article. It said she was a 13yr old girl about 5'5" and 110lbs. It said she liked to talk long walks in a big field and was found missing after walking in the field. Mark Then knew where he knew her from... She was Nicky from the party line. Then at lunch Marcy and Libby sat by Todd and Mark and were talking. They didn't think it was safe to walk on the streets because of all the missing girls. They all decided to take a class on fighting. At the class their teacher was a guy named Vince and he taught them how to fight when being attacked. Then they all went to a burger restaurant and talked and had fun. Mark went on the party line and heard Janine talking to a guy that sounded like Ben. So mark did the sign-off tone. When they finished Marked talked and Janine had called him a sneak and eavesdropper. He had planned to meet Janine. When he met Janine they talked about the missing girl and Mark thought it was Nicky. Maybe Nicky was kidnapped my Ben or someone else who was on the party line Then many more girls were missing and Mark believes that most of the girls were kidnapped by Ben or Robert or whatever that familiar oily voice persuading girls to meet them. But who was he and why did Mark recognize him?

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Mother's Helper

A. Bates Book

3 ThrillsBecky has a perfect job. She is a mother's helper/baby-sitter for the summer on a small island. She gets good money, gets to work on her tan and has to take care of 1-year-old Devon. She is in a rented cabin. Her employer Mrs. Nelson goes to town every day. She spends little time with her child. She keeps her room locked up and does some cleaning when she's home. The rest is up to Becky. One day when she was outside watching Devon, who was inside, a person came up to her and asked where the man who owned the cabin was. She told him that it was rented from him. The person said his name was Cleve. He was a local to the island. He offered Becky a boat ride she refused and he left. He was her next door neighbor. Becky knew Mrs. Nelson wouldn't let her take a ride. In a way Becky was hiding out. No one was supposed to know about the baby. Next she decided to talk with Mrs. Nelson. She wanted to go to town. Mrs. Nelson let her. On her way to town she ran into Cleve. He showed her around town. When they were at an ice-cream shop Cleve was making up a story about why she was at the island. When he was telling her the story it sounded just like the story Mrs. Nelson told her about Devon. Someone called her and her husband making a threat about kidnapping the baby so they were hiding out on this island. Cleve took Becky home. The next day Mrs. Nelson came home early and told Becky that they had to hide everything and take the baby out for a while so no one sees the baby because a washer and dryer was to be delivered. Becky really didn't like her boss or the fact that she was so tense but she did what she said. She took the baby's stuff and Devon and took them for a walk out the cabin and into the forest. While she was out there she heard a strange whistling sound that sounded human. She led Devon back because the dryer and washer were delivered and told Mrs. Nelson she was going to check out what made the sound. She went back to where she was and found Cleve. They started talking. Cleve asked her strange questions and it seemed like he was prying which Mrs. Nelson wouldn't like. Becky went back to the house. She asked Mrs. Nelson if she could go back to town many times but every time Mrs. Nelson forgets she had a meeting. When Mrs. Nelson left for work one day the phone rang. Becky had never heard it ring. It kept ringing all day. Becky couldn't pick it up because it was in Mrs. Nelson's bedroom. So it just drove them all crazy the whole day. That night Mrs. Nelson let Becky go back into town. She went looking for Cleve. Cleve was upset because he was climbing babyface with his friend Calvin and when he turned around to take a picture Calvin fell off it and he was glad Calvin didn't die. Babyface was what they called Boniface point because Boniface point was where all the beginners begin climbing and Calvin could do it by heart. Calvin was the only sheriff. People said that he pushed him off so he was upset. Becky made him feel better that went home. The next day after Mrs. Nelson left the phone rang again, over and over. She broke into Mrs. Nelson's room and unplugged the phone. Right before Mrs. Nelson came back Becky went back into her room to plug it backs in but she ran into something on the desk. There were many checks paying for the stuff around the house but they were a signed by herself. Mrs. Nelson came into the room and Becky asked what was going on and that was when she told Becky the truth. Mrs. Nelson was married to a man she loved but soon he started to get really possessive and he soon wouldn't let her go any where without someone following her so she ran off with the baby and a lot of money and came here. She said that if Mr. Nelson found them that he might hurt them. She said he used to burn all of her important stuff. She told Becky that it would only be a matter of days until he would come and when he did they needed to protect Devon...

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