Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE GHOST OF FOSSIL GLEN by Cynthia DeFelice

THE GHOST OF FOSSIL GLEN

By Cynthia DeFelice

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: March 25th, 1998
ISBN: 0-374-31787-9
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

 While this novel's basic plot elements--a ghost out for revenge, a sinister real-estate deal, a child who knows about a murder, but no one believes her--have been worked over numerous times, DeFelice (see review, above) gives it unusual warmth, with vivid characterizations. Allie, 11, stuck on a cliff while fossil-hunting, hears a ghostly voice with life-saving instructions to help her down. A series of strange events and apparitions ensues, culminating in Allie's discovery of the diary of Lucy, a girl who was murdered by her stepfather-to-be for interfering in his shady business plans. No one except her friend Dub believes Allie, and her parents and some sneering friends worry that she can't always tell the difference between her imagination and reality. But one person knows that Allie isn't lying, and that's the killer. From an affectionate younger brother and geeky, loyal best friend, to a gifted and empathetic teacher, Allie is surrounded by strong secondary players; DeFelice, working in a more contemporary setting than some of her previous books, deftly combines the supernatural aspects of the piece with subplots about a class project and Karen, a scornful sixth grader who gets her comeuppance. (Fiction. 8-12)