A boy's adventures in his new home include ghosts from the last world war.
Pete, age (nearly) 11, moves with his mum, dad, and newborn sister, Jenny, from London to Clydebank, Scotland, into a house whose rent is part of Dad's new job. Jenny's colic has worn Mum to a frazzle, and the whole family is a bit on edge. Still, Pete's pleased with his large bedroom (except for the girl he can hear crying through the walls), the neighbors (except for a creepy old woman who keeps disappearing), and especially the old air-raid shelter in the back garden (except for the mysterious lights that sometimes shine from it). Along with a neighbor boy and his dad's boss, who grew up in the house, Pete pieces together the mystery: teenage Beth lived through the "Clydebank Blitz"—a night of intense bombing—in the shelter while her house, once a duplex with Pete's, was bombed. She lost a box of family treasures and photographs in the rubble; the next night her mother died. Beth was then sent to New Zealand, where, now close to death, she longs to see a photo of her mother one more time. Told through Pete's energetic contemporary voice, the story unfolds naturally, with enough tension to maintain readers’ interest and enough credibility to carry the plot.
Forde's a prolific U.K. writer and a welcome addition to our side of the pond. (Fantasy. 8-12)