STARRY NIGHTS by Judith Clarke


Age Range: 10 - 12
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Australian author Clarke deliberately makes it hard to tell who’s alive and who isn’t in this artful tale of a haunted, grief-wracked family. As her mother lies nearly comatose in the wake of a breakdown, ten-year-old Jess not only struggles to cope with her teenaged sister Viva’s violent mood swings and obsession with the occult, but is frightened by repeated ghostly sightings. Meanwhile, big brother Clem, wandering about the house with an oddly fragmented memory, keeps meeting Amy, an inarticulate stranger in antique school dress. Using a paradoxical combination of misdirection and broad hints to keep readers off-balance, the author conceals motives and springs surprises, but brings all ’round right in the end for both survivors and spectral characters. A touching tale for readers who prefer character-driven ghost stories with the merest dashes of eeriness. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: May 30th, 2003
ISBN: 1-886910-82-0
Page count: 152pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2003


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