Thirteen-year-old Kat doesn’t believe in ghosts, but she might change her mind as she accompanies her dad while he films a TV show on the paranormal.
Her mother moved out a while ago, and Kat hasn’t been able to forgive her. Kat’s a skeptic about ghosts, but she’s excited that her dad has become the new host of Passport to Paranormal, which films in Europe. However, the show has low ratings, and Kat worries that her dad’s gig may be a short one. Meanwhile, she becomes involved with an online fan forum, then starts a blog that becomes a hit. As events progress, Kat begins to experience some major, possibly paranormal activity. When one of the show’s staff shows signs of possession, Kat grows suspicious that real ghosts might be at work but also worries that someone behind the scenes might be sabotaging the show. Can Kat solve the mystery even after her dad bans her from the set for interfering and spoiling the filming? Schusterman keeps the narrative light and completely accessible for middle school readers. She also gives Kat another kind of haunting experience: the Thing, a specter that might not be a ghost but that haunts Kat on a daily basis. It’s a nice touch that brings a bit of depth to a story that otherwise would merely be a suspense romp.
A promising series opener for fans of the paranormal. (Suspense. 10-13)