Ghost Girl by Ally Malinenko
Release Date: August 10, 2021
Why I love this book: So I love scary books, but I don't often find ones that really drag me in and keep my attention. On top of me liking scary books, my middle schoolers really like scary books and I'm constantly trying to find good Middle Grade Horror that I can add to the shelves for them. Ghost Girl manages to fit the bill for both me and my students. This is a really well written horror story, there were moments in the book that I found myself holding my breath or wincing as I read because I wasn't sure what was going to happen next or of the characters I was becoming attached to were going to all make it out unscathed. The suspense was top notch.
Without giving anything away, (because you really need to go read this one, and I don't want to ruin it) Malinenko does something that I really, really liked. Essentially there are some things in the book, that if you read horror, or watch horror, or just even have an interest in the supernatural you might pick up on as an adult- certains names or little actions that are going to make you go "oh no". Kids reading might not pick up on them, in fact it might be the first time they are encountering some of these things, but Malinenko manages to balance these little clues with keeping other things completely under wraps, so that like the kids in the story, the reader knows something is wrong, you might even reason out what is happening, but there are enough knots to untangle that you are never 100% sure where you're going to end up. That ability to leave breadcrumbs without giving away the whole sandwich is really well done in Ghost Girl.
I loved this book, I read the whole thing in basically one sitting, and I can not wait to get it in the hands of my students this fall.
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