THE SECRET OF LAUREL OAKS by Lois Ruby

THE SECRET OF LAUREL OAKS

Age Range: 10 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Set in south Louisiana and inspired by the ghost stories surrounding the Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, this tale alternates between the voices of Lila, a modern teenager from Albuquerque, and Daphne, the ghost of a slave girl. Lila, with help from her brother Gabe and new friend Sal, debunks the long-held belief that Daphne poisoned and killed the mistress of the plantation and her two daughters. Daphne finally learns what exactly happened that fateful day as Lila pieces it together through both logical and supernatural means, and Daphne secures Lila’s help fulfilling a promise she’d made to the mistress of the house when she was alive. The story contains some dark truths about slavery—including repeated sexual assaults on Daphne and the slicing off of her ear as punishment for eavesdropping—without describing them too graphically. The characters are, for the most part, well-rendered and likable, although the behavior and dialogue of the contemporary cast at times feels a bit contrived. Fans of Mary Downing Hahn will love this one. (Horror. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7653-1366-9
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Starscape/Tom Doherty
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2008




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