Sunday, August 19, 2018

MMGM- City of Ghosts

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Always in the Middle and #IMWAYR day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday.

Schwab, Victoria. City of Ghosts
August 28th 2018 by Scholastic
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

It's not easy to be the daughter of famous paranormal investigative book writers, especially when you can see ghosts! Cassidy's parents don't really believe too much about ghost hunting, but are more interested in the history and legends that people believe, and they certainly don't really think that Cassidy's best friend is a ghost, although they do joke about her talking to "Jacob". Cassidy can, however, see ghosts after a near-death experience from which Jacob saved her. She can travel to the other side of  "the Veil" to commune more closely with spirits, but there aren't a whole lot of opportunities in her town. When her parents are approached to do a television show and the entire family heads off to Edinburgh, Scotland, Cassidy finds that the supernatural there is much more intense. Based in a flat run by a nice Scottish lady (and her ghostly husband!), Cassidy and Jacob accompany the parents are their forays into the haunted places of Edinburgh. The spirits are very strong, and Cassidy is pulled into the Veil against her will more than once. Not only that, but a very despicable spirit, the Raven in Red who steals the souls of children, is bound and determined to y
capture Cassidy's spirit and use it to resurrect herself. Luckily, the landlady's niece, Lara, also can see spirits, but she uses her powers to put the spirits to rest. To Cassidy, whose best friend is a ghost, this seems somewhat like murder. Still, Lara knows a lot more about Cassidy's abilities, and the two spend quality time with the spirits. When Cassidy is in grave danger, Lara is able to save her. Lara is still concerned that Jacob should be dispatched before he gains too much power, which suggests that there is more of the story to be told.
Strengths: Ghosts who want to suck out your soul. Yep. That is exactly what my students like to read, when they aren't reading gruesome, blood soaked murder mysteries! This is a great title with a cover that will ensure that readers pick it up. It made me happy because there were supportive, if a little flaky, parents who are involved in ghost hunting but are sort of clueless (sort of like LaFevers' Theodosia books), they get to travel to Scotland (Like Runholdt's Kari and Lucas mysteries), and they learn a bit about ghost hunting. The Raven in Red was decently scary, and the book is action packed in the second half, when some readers attention tends to wander. Well done all around.
Weaknesses: The beginning was a tiny bit slow, but so were the starts of Bell's Frozen Charlotte and Alender's The Girls of Hysteria Hall , but the creepy cover serves as a promise to readers that things will some become bone chillingly scary!
What I really think: Definitely purchasing. I'm hoping that the talk of grave robbing in Scotland will encourage readers who like this to pick up Lane's Death Cloud series, which I love.

Ms. Yingling


  1. This sounds like just the kind of book my college students are always asking me for--and that I never know about! Adding to my purchase list right now. Thank you for reviewing!

  2. This sounds like one for my son. He loves chilling, scary stuff and your description sounds like something he'd dig into. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful reading week!

  3. This sounds creepy, but I love the setting so I'll have to give this one a go. Thanks for telling us about it.

  4. This sounds delightful. Victoria Schwab does creepy very well. I loved The Archived.

  5. My kids are always looking for creepy, and I don't love creepy, so thank you for sharing this title with me :)

    Happy reading this week!

  6. I adored Schwab's Shades of Magic series - all three of them. Didn't know that she wrote middle grade novels too. Definitely will try to find this one. :)

  7. This sounds terrific. I have a friend who will want to know about this. I'll bet the middle-graders will eat this up. Thanks for telling me about it.

  8. Thanks for the review of this book. It's been shared several times over this last week, and has so many holds at my library! Sounds great, but yes, creepy!