Midnight Reynolds has always felt like an outsider: from her unusual name and her family’s poverty to her obsessive reliance on spreadsheets to keep her life organized.
When Midnight moves to a new town and becomes friends with the two most popular girls in school, she finally feels welcome. The only problem: the 12-year-old white girl’s privileged new friends like to shop, and they’ll likely dump Midnight if they find out she’s broke. Midnight gets a job assisting sweet Miss Appleby. But Miss Appleby doesn’t need help with household chores; the middle-aged white woman wants Midnight to help her hunt ghosts. Because she was born at midnight on Oct. 31, Midnight has a supernatural gift: she can see ghosts—spectral energy. When someone dies, their spectral energy passes to the Afterglow, but an insidious phenomenon called a black stream is transferring the energy to inanimate objects. Armed with a device called a spectral transformer, Midnight retrieves the trapped energy so it can be safely disposed of. The job isn’t as straightforward as it seems, and Midnight soon faces a problem even the most sophisticated spreadsheet can’t fix. Hunting and trapping spectral energy fills the highly likable Midnight with a sense of pride and bravado she’s never felt before, easing her struggles to fit in at school and to cope with her mother’s impending remarriage.
Old-fashioned spooky fun. (Supernatural mystery. 9-13)