The Secret of Locker 24

Enslow/West 44 Bks. (Twisted). Aug. 2022. 120p. Tr $25.80. ISBN 9781978596214; pap. $16.35. ISBN 9781978596221.
Gr 6-8–Locker 24 at Haddenport Middle School has not been opened in anybody’s recent memory. Even adults, especially the principal, won’t talk about it. But now eighth grader Emily keeps finding the locker mysteriously hanging open, seeming to invite her to look inside. After discovering a notebook filled with marvelous drawings, Em does some internet sleuthing for the name on the notebook. Along with a conversation with her mom, who went to school with the student, she learns the girl was badly bullied and never made art again. In fact, it turns out she died in faraway Kansas on the very day that Em first found the locker open. A ticket found in the locker leads Emily to a movie screening where she encounters artsy friend Hailey, who has been behaving strangely, failing to turn in her humorous drawings for yearbook. Em arrives just in time to disrupt a nasty bullying incident directed at Hailey. Part of the “Twisted” series of supernatural tales, this book, written at a second to third grade reading level, goes easy on the paranormal, focusing instead on the spreading mystery and the details and emotions of middle school life.
VERDICT Recommended for middle school collections, especially where hi-lo titles are in demand.

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