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THE WRONG ONE by Carol Otis Hurst


by Carol Otis Hurst

Pub Date: May 12th, 2003
ISBN: 0-618-27599-1
Publisher: Walter Lorraine/Houghton Mifflin

When their dad dies suddenly, Kate, 11, her brother Jesse, 9, her adopted Asian sister, Sookan, 5, and their mom have to give up their comfortable brownstone and friends in Brooklyn to move to Massachusetts because money is a problem. The country house is a dump and immediately casts eerie feelings as Sookan runs screaming from her bedroom decorated with weird doll-like wallpaper. Strange events escalate as the TV turns itself on, a moving blue light appears, homework answers appear overnight, and a sinister-looking antique doll (looking like the wallpaper) is found in the barn. The ethereal activity centers around Sookan, who seems familiar with the blue light and talks to an imaginary friend (Korean words dot the dialogue), leading the search for the “right” hidden antique. As money pressures increase, more inexplicable events occur. Enough details are left untied to make this interesting, leaving the premise of ghosts a possibility. The caring family chemistry feels real, especially Sookan’s charming character. The light-handed spookiness, large print, and quick pace will satisfy younger readers. (Fiction. 8-11)