Paquette, A.J. Rules for Ghosting
9 July 2013, Walker Children's
E ARC from Netgalley.com
Dahlia has had a slightly boring existence as a ghost in Silverton Manor, and ever since her mother moved out, it's even worse. She's glad when Mrs. Tibbs, another ghost, comes to help her get released. At the same time, Oliver Day's family is moving in to help renovate the house and remove the ghost stigma so that Mr. Rutabartle can finally sell it. Oliver is thrilled to be in such a great house, and hopes that maybe this time his family can stay. His father does online puppet shows, so Oliver Day and his siblings Poppy and six year old twins Junie and Joe rely their mother and father's income at house sitting. When Mr. Riley, a contractor, shows up, the parents believe he has been sent by Mr. Rutabartle, and allow him to move in to start fixing up the house, but Wiley is really a ghost catcher. Mrs. Tibbs has helped Dahlia realize that she is anchored to the house by something that occurred in the past, and that she needs to discover what it is before she can be released. Mr. Wiley manages to catch Mrs. Tibbs and is ready to dissect her, so Dahlia manifests to Oliver and asks for his help. The two, with Poppy's help, manage to find a hidden attic room with the keys to many mysteries of the house. Can they clear these up, keep Oliver's family safe, rescue Mrs. Tibbs, and finally send Dahlia to where she needs to be?
Strengths: A great haunted house, and convincing ghost details. For some reason, I kept thinking of one of my favorite picture books, Jane Thayer's Gus was a Friendly Ghost when I read it. The Day family is amusing, and the villains are creepy without being over the top. I especially liked the first chapter, and there's some good writing in this.
Weaknesses: There's a lot going on in this book, and it gets confusing. The note at the end of the book explains the author's path to this story, and I understand why she included Oliver's story (which was a really good call), but I found that the Mr. Wiley and Laura Silverton plots dragged down the book a bit, and I just really wanted to find out whether Oliver would get to stay in the house!
Wow! I have gotten to the point where I don't have any paper ARCs to read, I've read all the library books I had checked out, AND I only have five books from Netgalley that I need to look through (Constable, The Nazi Hunters, Wolf, Elite Infantry, and Touched by Fire.)! I guess I need to make a trip to the library today, since the 300 and some books I ordered from Follett and Baker and Taylor (some of which I do need to read before I put them on the shelves) won't be in for another couple of weeks.
This means that I may have to clean out the linen closet. Drat!