A monster allergy may ruin Alex’s visit to his grandparents’.
Alex and his cousin Sarah are spending a week visiting their grandparents in their grandparents’ new house…except the house is very old. It is likely haunted, and that was actually a selling point for Alex’s writer grandmother and artist grandfather, who together write the twisted and scary comic book Little Grendella. The whole family appears to be white. When he enters his room, Alex has an immediate allergic reaction…but when he tries to duplicate the reaction in front of Sarah and his grandparents, nothing happens. The strange rash on his arms reappears later, and it becomes obvious he is allergic to a ghost that’s haunting the house. Only Sarah and Alex can see the strange phantom, and it can write in the rash on Alex’s arm (unsurprisingly, this does not feel good). The duo decides to clear up the business that is keeping the ghost on Earth. Can they do it alone? This ghost story kicks off Lubar’s new series of light spooky tales à la his Monsterrific Tales, though for a younger audience. Customarily excellent writing at the sentence level unspools an undemanding adventure carefully pitched to his audience. What’s light, foolish, and transparent to adults will be enjoyable to youngsters seeking slight chills with a smile or two along the way.
A superior alternative to Goosebumps for elementary-age chill-seekers. (Fantasy. 6-9)