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THE SEER OF SHADOWS by Avi

THE SEER OF SHADOWS

By Avi

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: April 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-000015-8
Publisher: HarperCollins

In 1870s New York, at the intersection of scientific advances in photography and post-Civil War superstition, sentimentality and mourning, Horace’s father apprentices him to a spirit photographer. He discovers that, while his employer is a swindler, Horace himself is a “seer” on whose photographs genuine ghostly images appear. In this way, he discovers the ghost of a young heiress whose ill treatment at the hands of her adoptive parents has led to her death. When her angry spirit returns seeking revenge, Horace tries to put her ghost to rest and save lives. Avi portrays a complex main character who is torn between his impulse toward honesty and rational thought, his love of the new technology of photography and his need for employment. This tale proves that the time-honored ghost story, capably researched, well-paced and fusing the Gothic elements of mystery, madness and romance, can still thrill in the hands of a skilled craftsman. (Fiction. 8-12)