Rebel Spirits

292p. Scholastic/Point. June 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-545-42623-7; pap. $17.99. ISBN 978-0-545-54020-9.
Gr 7–9—Sixteen-year-old Lori's parents open a B and B in Gettysburg that has a reputation for being haunted. On one of her first nights at the inn, a Civil War ghost appears in Lori's bedroom. Nathaniel Pierce tells Lori that he did not die of battle wounds; he was murdered. Only she can solve the mystery of who killed him, and she has three days in which to do it. At the same time, she has to figure out who is meddling in the shed at night and why. Lori's task is made all the more difficult because she falls in love with Nathaniel and the teenager hired to mow the grass. The juxtaposition of past and present is the backbone of the story. Lori's modern existence of Skyping and wearing shorts offers a striking comparison to Nathaniel's 1860s' strict social mores and cringe-worthy health care. The integration of the real Gettysburg cemetery, Evergreen, provides a haunting backdrop. The mystery is tangential. At the outset, it is pretty clear who is in the shed at night for reasons foul, and who killed Nathaniel. A few points go unanswered, including why Lori has only three days in which to solve the crime. Give this novel to readers who like mild ghost stories or innocent romances, and who don't mind loose story threads.—Jennifer Prince, Buncombe County Public Libraries, NC

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