THE PHANTOM HOUR by Kat Shepherd


From the "Babysitting Nightmares" series, volume 2
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12
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When strange things happen at Clio’s new babysitting gig, her friends are ready to help in this sequel to The Shadow Hand (2018).

Clio and her friends have just closed the portal to the Nightmare Realm, but their adventures aren’t over yet. Clio starts babysitting for the Lee family, who just moved into the old Plunkett mansion. Creepy things happen the first night, and it gets stranger every time she goes. She discusses the phenomena with her friends, who try to convince her that nothing’s wrong until the evidence is undeniable. Luckily, a boy from school named Ethan just happens to show up at Clio’s aunt’s shop with a flier about his services, which include speaking with ghosts. They are skeptical, but Clio decides to get his help to find out who is haunting the mansion and what they want. In an intense séance, they encounter the ghost and help her find peace. The plot moves slowly through the first half of the book, but the steady buildup of bizarre incidents combines with the characters’ interesting enough personalities to keep most readers going. The characters’ diverse ethnic backgrounds are casually mentioned: Clio is black with natural hair, and her aunt, Kawanna, has dreadlocks; Maggie and Ethan are both white; Rebecca is Chinese-American; Tanya, who’s probably Latinx, has brown skin; and the Lees are Korean-American.

Mitigating the slow buildup is the rousing climax, complete with icky creatures and spooky thrills. (Paranormal adventure. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 29th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-250-15699-0
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Imprint
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2018


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