Shivers aplenty; just the ticket for a cold autumn night.

THE PECULIAR INCIDENT ON SHADY STREET

A preteen overcomes fear to solve a century-old mystery.

Tessa Woodward and her family have moved from warm, sunny Florida to chilly, gray Chicago. It’s bad enough that she had to leave behind her best friend and beloved beach, but as soon as the white girl moves into the eerie, rambling Victorian on Shady Street, myriad unexplainable things begin to happen. Lights flicker and doors lock on their own; mysterious crying and phantom footsteps echo throughout the house in the middle of the night; perfectly executed drawings appear in artist Tessa’s sketchbook; and her 4-year-old brother’s perennially creepy ventriloquist dummy cries actual tears. There can be no other explanation: this house is haunted. Who, or more likely what, has targeted Tessa, and why? The terrified seventh-grader enlists her new friends—skeptic Andrew and graveyard expert Nina, both evidently white—to follow a trail of clues in order to find out what happened in the house on Shady Street all those years ago. Refreshingly, Tessa isn’t an angry kid determined to make her parents’ lives miserable in retaliation for uprooting her from the familiar. Instead, she resolves to make the best of things and to take her free-spirited parents’ advice that she keep her eyes wide open and explore the unknown. And that she does.

Shivers aplenty; just the ticket for a cold autumn night. (Paranormal mystery. 8-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7704-8

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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Telgemeier’s bold colors, superior visual storytelling, and unusual subject matter will keep readers emotionally engaged and...

GHOSTS

Catrina narrates the story of her mixed-race (Latino/white) family’s move from Southern California to Bahía de la Luna on the Northern California coast.

Dad has a new job, but it’s little sister Maya’s lungs that motivate the move: she has had cystic fibrosis since birth—a degenerative breathing condition. Despite her health, Maya loves adventure, even if her lungs suffer for it and even when Cat must follow to keep her safe. When Carlos, a tall, brown, and handsome teen Ghost Tour guide introduces the sisters to the Bahía ghosts—most of whom were Spanish-speaking Mexicans when alive—they fascinate Maya and she them, but the terrified Cat wants only to get herself and Maya back to safety. When the ghost adventure leads to Maya’s hospitalization, Cat blames both herself and Carlos, which makes seeing him at school difficult. As Cat awakens to the meaning of Halloween and Day of the Dead in this strange new home, she comes to understand the importance of the ghosts both to herself and to Maya. Telgemeier neatly balances enough issues that a lesser artist would split them into separate stories and delivers as much delight textually as visually. The backmatter includes snippets from Telgemeier’s sketchbook and a photo of her in Día makeup.

Telgemeier’s bold colors, superior visual storytelling, and unusual subject matter will keep readers emotionally engaged and unable to put down this compelling tale. (Graphic fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-54061-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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A deceptively simple, tender tale in which respect, resilience, and hope triumph.

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WISHTREE

Generations of human and animal families grow and change, seen from the point of view of the red oak Wishing Tree that shelters them all.

Most trees are introverts at heart. So says Red, who is over 200 years old and should know. Not to mention that they have complicated relationships with humans. But this tree also has perspective on its animal friends and people who live within its purview—not just witnessing, but ultimately telling the tales of young people coming to this country alone or with family. An Irish woman named Maeve is the first, and a young 10-year-old Muslim girl named Samar is the most recent. Red becomes the repository for generations of wishes; this includes both observing Samar’s longing wish and sporting the hurtful word that another young person carves into their bark as a protest to Samar’s family’s presence. (Red is monoecious, they explain, with both male and female flowers.) Newbery medalist Applegate succeeds at interweaving an immigrant story with an animated natural world and having it all make sense. As Red observes, animals compete for resources just as humans do, and nature is not always pretty or fair or kind. This swiftly moving yet contemplative read is great for early middle grade, reluctant or tentative readers, or precocious younger students.

A deceptively simple, tender tale in which respect, resilience, and hope triumph. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-250-04322-1

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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