A trio of best friends fears that their new teacher at Boo Academy isn’t a ghost but (oh, the horror) a human!
Top student Maude (who appears to be black in the illustrations) and her best friends, basketball star Tiny (white and, yes, the tallest in their class) and shy CJ (whose skin appears to be a smidge darker than Tiny’s) are excited to start third grade at Boo Academy, nicknamed Boo La La, a premier school for ghost girls. They have a new, white dorm mother this year, Ms. Finley, as the old one was caught violating a major ghost rule: “No direct contact with humans!” While they like her a lot, there are some things that are a little off—Ms. Finley doesn’t have the strong sense of smell that a ghost should, and, strangely, she wears shoes. The girls suspect she might actually be a human and set out to test her against ghost rules to mixed results. Finally, they ask her directly and learn why a ghost might lack a sense of smell (she’s got a terrible cold) and wear shoes (orthopedic shoes from overdoing it on ghostly athletics in her youth). Though the characters tend toward stock, the worldbuilding shows unexpected wit, especially in ghostly academics. A favorite saying of the principal’s—“one ghost’s strange is another ghost’s normal”—recurs throughout.
Light, not-at-all scary fun for kids who like their spooky trappings sans terror. (Paranormal adventure. 6-9)