Seven Ghosts

Union Square Kids & Co. (­Everyone Can Be a Reader). Apr. 2024. 144p. pap. $8.99. ISBN 9781454954873.
Gr 3-7–As part of an annual children’s horror festival, Grimstone Hall hosts a ghost story competition, inviting the authors of the 20 best stories to the estate for a tour. As Jake and the other selected authors explore the building and grounds, they hear the tales of the ghost children who haunt the estate. The stories themselves are spooky, but as the tour continues, Jake begins to experience strange occurrences—frequent odd looks from the tour guide, changes in temperature, and other children who seem to disappear when Jake looks closer. By the end of the tour, Jake is certain there’s something off about Grimstone Hall. Told from the viewpoint of two characters, Jake and the tour guide, Mrs. Fox, this short work positions the eerie and slightly gruesome ghost stories within the history of the estate. Though each ghost story is different, they successfully build up to the ultimate twist ending. Minimal descriptions of the characters and setting will allow readers to imagine scenes at their own preferred degree of fright, with hatchwork illustrations to enhance the reading experience.
VERDICT Short chapters combined with a dyslexia-friendly layout and typeface make this title particularly suited for reluctant or struggling young readers.

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