FICTION

Ghost Hunter’s Daughter

Scholastic. Jul. 2020. 288p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780545830041.
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Gr 5 Up–While Lucas and Claire are both new transplants to their school, Lucas’s awkward glances and comments toward Claire make her nervous. Her dad is a ghost hunter on television, and Lucas’s grandmother has powers to speak to the dead that Lucas might have inherited. When he’s visited by Claire’s deceased mother, they team up to travel to Hush Falls Holler, the last place Claire’s dad was seen before his mysterious disappearance during a ghost-hunting trip. Chilling ghost stories are Poblocki’s topic of choice and for good reason: His skilled organization of plot points and creepy characters in haunted settings captivates even the youngest readers. The story itself is an accessible mystery, providing complexity through red herrings that move the plot at a breakneck pace to heighten its dark mood. This is juxtaposed with the uplifting connection that emerges between Claire, Lucas, and Dolly, a Hush Falls native. Dolly’s singular focus on saving the town and Claire’s dad effortlessly solidifies their friendship and provides a foundation to root for a positive outcome.
VERDICT An easy sell as a ghost story or mystery read for middle graders, with extra creepy cover art as a bonus.

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