Monday, July 06, 2020


Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
and #IMWAYR day 

Poblocki, Dan. Ghost Hunter's Daughter
July 7th 2020 by Scholastic Press
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Claire's father is the host of a very popular ghost hunting show, which gives her a bit of popularity around school, but she's not a fan herself. Her mother has recently passed away, and when her father is traveling, an aunt watches out for her. When he is on location in Hush Falls, Claire is approached by a boy at school, Lucas, whose grandmother is known locally to be a bit of a witch. Lucas tells Claire that he also can talk to ghosts, and that Claire's mother has been speaking to him, telling him that Claire's father is in danger. Lucas' assertions are backed up after a phone call to the father's manager; he went out to scout a location and has not returned. The two are soon taking a bus ride to find out what's going on. When they get to Hush Falls (or rather, Hush Hollow), they find his motel room being investigated, and run into Dolly, the motel owner's daughter who is their age. The three manage to retrieve her father's videocamera, and the last footage helps them find a location. Hush Falls was actually a town that was flooded; Hush Holler is where the town was relocated. Lemuel Hush was the founder of the town and the last person buried in the now underwater cemetery, and legend has it that he lures people to their death in the area over the former town. Dolly's mother was one of these victims. When they locate Claire's father, they work with him to solve the mystery of how these drownings are really occurring, and end up with more information than they bargain for.
Strengths: Creepy, spooky books and books with murder are always in demand by my students, who don't understand that there aren't a lot of of these written for 12 year olds. Poblocki does a fantastic job of making his books just scary enough, but without too much blood and gore. Claire is a great character who doubts her father but is willing to believe Lucas if her father is in danger. Murderous ghosts are a great way to make murder a bit easier to deliver to middle grade audiences, and I appreciated how the ghost had some help. Nice, creepy wooded setting, with great descriptions of Hush Hollow-- man, I could smell that hotel room with its orange shag carpet! Perfect for fans of Schwab's fantastic City of Ghosts, Alender's The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall, or the new works of K.R. Alexander.
Weaknesses: The end was a little more somber than MG usually is, so I was just a bit surprised and a little sadder than I normally am. It's nice how Poblocki comes right up to the edge of Young Adult, though, so I can deal with that.
What I really think: Definitely purchasing two copies, because they will both become very worn out. This author is hugely popular in my library. I love that his books are stand alones, with the exception of Shadow House series.

Williams, Dinah. True Hauntings: Deadly Disasters
July 7th 2020 by Scholastic Nonfiction
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

This short paperback book is a great way to sell history in the disguise of spooky ghosts! There are a variety of historical events covered, with the most recent being the 2011 Japanese tsunami and most being at least a hundred years old. While Williams is very good about pointing out the ghosts attached to these events, the concentration is really on the horrible historic events themselves. I very much appreciated the inclusion of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which is my favorite horrible historic event!

There are great pictures of key events, a brief and interesting overview, and a short description of the ghosts that arose because of them. The cover is nicely creepy, and will be very appealing to tween readers. Once they get started, they won't realize that they are getting  a lot more history that hauntings! I am looking forward to seeing how this series unfolds. Follett Library is offering these in a prebind, since paperbacks would not hold up to the heavy use these are sure to see!

In True Hauntings: Deadly Disasters, veteran ghost writer Dinah Williams explores the stories and alleged hauntings of some of the deadliest catastrophes in history, from lost souls left behind in the 2011 Japanese tsunami to a headless ghost frightening miners deep underground.

With historical photos and sidebars that are equal parts educational and terrifying, readers will find that sometimes fact is even scarier than fiction."


  1. Both of these books sound great! Ghost Hunter's Daughter sounds like an exciting story, and I agree, True Hauntings: Deadly Disasters sounds like a great way to convince kids to learn about history! Thanks for the great reviews!

  2. I like to make a list of these types of books for my October reading as they get my geared up for winter (and for Halloween). Both of these titles are new to me, so thanks for sharing!

  3. Wow. Where were books like this when I was a kid? These both sound terrific. I bet they will fly off the shelves. Thanks for the review.

  4. I know that kids love to read scary stories. I on the other hand do not. While I am sure that Ghost Hunter's Daughter will appeal to them, it sounds a little too terrifying for me. True Hauntings I think I could deal with though.