Breaking in was easy. Getting out will be harder.
High atop Hathorne Hill, near Boston, sits Danvers State Hospital. Built in 1878 and closed in 1992, this abandoned mental institution is rumored to be the birthplace of the lobotomy. Locals have long believed the place to be haunted. They tell stories about the unmarked graves in the back, of the cold spots felt throughout the underground tunnels, and of the treasures found inside: patients' personal items like journals, hair combs, and bars of soap, or even their old medical records, left behind by the state for trespassers to view.
On the eve of the hospital's demolition, six teens break in to spend the night and film a movie about their adventures. For Derik, it's an opportunity to win a filmmaking contest and save himself from a future of flipping burgers at his parents' diner. For the others, it's a chance to be on TV, or a night with no parents. But what starts as a playful dare quickly escalates into a frenzy of nightmarish action. Behind the crumbling walls, down every dark passageway, and in each deserted room, they will unravel the mysteries of those who once lived there and the spirits who still might.
From Project 17:
"We each went to Danvers State Hospital, the old abandoned asylum on the hill, with the intention of spending one night before the place got torn down. Little did any of us know how haunting the experience would be. Little did I know that the experience would change my life. Forever."
- Derik LaPointe, filmmaker, Project 17
"Stolarz takes a delicious cast of characters on a terrifying thrill-ride. A harrowing adventure in an abandoned mental hosptial, PROJECT 17 is sexy, funny, poignant and blood-chilling."
- R.A. Nelson, author of Teach Me and Breathe My Name
“Page-turning action, genuine scares, and a satisfying conclusion should make this a hit with teens, particularly those who enjoyed the suspense of Stolarz's "Blue Is for Nightmares" series (Flux). – School Library Journal
“…Breakfast Club meets Blair Witch Project.” Ages 12-up. (Dec.) – Publishers Weekly
“The writing is clear and concise. It moves at a quick pace and holds your attention to the very end. The suspense will keep readers (especially reluctant ones) glued to the pages. This is an easily accessible book to put into a wide variety of hands.” – Library Media Connection
“The Breakfast Club meets Session 9 in this genre-blended horror novel, in which six wildly different kids film themselves spending the night in Danvers State Insane Asylum before it is demolished.” – Booklist
"...a spooky read narrated in the voices of each of the different characters. It blends the supernatural adventure of Stolarz's BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES COLLECTION with the poignant realism of BLEED." - TeenReads
“…the creative format…and lightning pace will offer horror-movie buffs a satisfying…night at a location that will likely chill any reader.” – The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Project 17 will be available in paperback in June 2009.
Project 17 is also available or forthcoming in: German.