The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee

illus. by Kris Aro McLeod. 216p. Mighty Media Kids. Sept. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781938063725.
Gr 4–6—Thelma Bee is a young scientist. She believes in experimentation and observation—pure scientific method. However, she is also able to accept when events border on the weird, as they do the day that a strange old woman sells her father an antique keepsake box. Thelma immediately begins to experience scary, supernatural events that seem to be related to the box. When the box is responsible for the disappearance of someone she loves, she knows she must figure out how to defeat it and the witch controlling it. Fortunately she has friends who will help her. Petti steadily increases a sense of suspense and dread. The worlds she creates, especially the ones inside the box, are imaginative and fresh. It is rewarding to read about a scientifically minded female protagonist, and that should help attract an audience.
VERDICT Those looking for a chilling but quick read should enjoy this one, as will reluctant readers. Recommended for most middle grade collections.

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