Thank you to the author and publisher for providing me with a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
A girl unravels a centuries-old mystery after moving into a haunted house in this deliciously suspenseful mystery.
Tessa Woodward isn’t exactly thrilled to move to rainy, cold Chicago from her home in sunny Florida. But homesickness turns to icy fear when unexplainable things start happening in her new house. Things like flickering lights, mysterious drawings appearing out of nowhere, and a crackling noise she can feel in her bones.
When her little brother’s doll starts crying real tears, Tessa realizes that someone—or something—is trying to communicate with her. A secret that’s been shrouded in mystery for more than one hundred years.
With the help of three new friends, Tessa begins unraveling the mystery of what happened in the house on Shady Street—and more importantly, what it has to do with her!
This book is officially one of my favorite books of the year. Loved it. LOVED IT! As someone who fields a lot of book requests for this age group, and especially a lot of requests for “a really good ghost story”, this book couldn’t have come along at a better time. I’m often asked to recommend a new ghost story, one that hasn’t been on the shelves for years, that isn’t gruesome or “blood curdling”, but also isn’t cheesy and too adolescent-feeling. You know, a great read for that upper elementary/middle school/middle grade group of readers. Thanks to Lindsay, I now have the perfect title to recommend.
I’ll be honest and tell you that I feel like I can’t even be objective with this review because I loved it so much and just want to rave about it to everyone. So that’s what I’m gong to do. (This is where I’d insert a winking emoji. You’re welcome.) As a reader who’s doorway into a book is almost always the characters, I’m going to start there. These kids were fantastic. I appreciated that they were smart and witty and self-sufficient. They felt like they’d be relatable to readers of the same age group (I’m way beyond the target audience in age here, but totally would’ve wanted to be friends with these kids back in the day). And the parents, while not having a hugely prominent presence in the story, were quirky and added a fun dimension to the story.
And then there’s the story itself. Lindsay did a phenomenal job of researching local lore and locations in order to make this story feel truly authentic. She had just the right amount of spooky and scary mixed in with history and adventure, and it kept the pages turning steadily. (So steadily, in fact, that I was really sad when I realized I was down to the last five.)
Highly recommend. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Book Stats: hardcover, 304 pages, Aladdin, October 10, 2017