Of all the good things to come about during our global Coronavirus shutdown, reading more is one of the things atop my list.
I have always loved to read, but somehow got the misguided notion I was too busy for a good book. Thankfully, I now realize how wrong I was!
Sometimes she and I read our own books, independently but together, and other times we take turns reading aloud to each other. I love our reading time.
Let’s get spooky
Just before Halloween, I was pitched by a publisher about a new, scary book that sounded like it would be a great fit for Z and I.
If you’re a fan of creative, occulty-worldbuilding that is a fair amount darker than even the darkest Harry Potter book, you or the teens and young adults in your life will love Ghost Hunters: Bones in the Wall by Susan McCauley.
A complimentary copy of the book was provided to us exchange for our review. So far, only I have read it. Z has a bad habit of judging books by their covers, and she wasn’t immediately enticed by this one (I thought it was fine).
Really, it made sense for me to read the book first anyway, if only to vet it. I’m glad I did; I would put the content and reading level at a teen/HS level. Even though the protagonist, Alex, is only 12, he’s dealing with things that even older kids (and many adults!) would struggle with.
Don’t get me wrong – I really liked the book and would certainly read another if it ends up being a series (it definitely feels like it could be the first in a series). That said, I’m not sure it’s right for elementary school kids or even kids the age of its protagonist. A little digging shows it is recommended for “middle grade” kiddos, and that sounds about right.
I don’t want to say much without giving away the story, but I’ll comment again about the unique and very cool world-building for a moment. Just as the Harry Potter books take place in a world of wizards and magic, Ghost Hunters takes place in a world of the occult and paranormal activity.
The backstory is woven in skillfully and quite believably. In this world, it is common practice to play ghostball (like soccer, but the ball contains an angry poltergeist) and to paint protective symbols called wards around one’s room and home in order to keep out evil spirits.
Parts of the book are quite terrifying – and sad, due to a family tragedy in the early pages – but Ghost Hunters makes for a thrilling read. Anyone who has made it through all seven HP books will likely be ready to give this book a try. After all, the Deathly Hallows get pretty dark and creepy, too.
Thumbs up from me for Ghost Hunters – and I’m sure once Z gives it a shot, she’ll be a fan, as well.