What Stays Buried

HarperCollins. Mar. 2023. 272p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780063257122.
Gr 6 Up–Calista Wynn sees dead people. But she won’t much longer. Once she turns 13 (in a week), her ability to communicate with ghosts will disappear. In this middle grade debut, Calista must rush to use her powers to save the disappearing children in her town of Meadowmere, NY, before it’s too late. Calista comes from a long line of mediums who can speak to ghosts but lose their powers on their 13th birthdays. With the help of the ghosts of her father and grandmother, Calista works to stop Edwina Swift, the evil “Tall Woman” who has taken numerous children, including Calista’s sister Molly, to make herself more powerful. Young’s suspenseful novel is dark; with seances, curses, mediums, and possessions, some readers may find aspects of the book terrifying. Yet, the novel also shows strong family bonds across generations and worlds, while overarching themes of the power of love, family, and friendship make this a solid entry into horror for adventurous readers.
VERDICT Those with an interest in the occult will enjoy this book for the well-developed protagonist and solid plotting.

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