Ordinary Ghosts

Eireann Corrigan, Author . Scholastic $16.99 (328p) ISBN 978-0-439-83243-4

C orrigan's (Splintering ) gritty novel examines one teen's difficulty dealing with death. Things have not been easy lately for 16-year-old Emil Simon. His terminally ill mother killed herself a few months ago, he's been living in the shadow of his older brother, Ethan, and his father is distant. “It's not like my dad stands as this stunning source of emotional support. I mean, it's a struggle for us to make conversation over dinner most nights.” Additionally, Ethan left home soon after their mother's death, his only goodbye a postcard with the word “Later” written on it. Before departing, Ethan gave Emil a master key to the Caramoor Academy, the prestigious prep school Emil attends. Each year, the key, which opens every door in the academy, is passed to a different student. During one of his midnight excursions exploring the school, Emil meets 18-year-old Jade, his art teacher's daughter, and awkwardly pursues her. When Emil learns that Ethan left home because he assisted in his mother's suicide, he becomes determined to find his brother. Corrigan's story can seem to drag a bit as Emil reminisces about childhood events and meditates on the bonds he had with his mother and older brother. However, as teens get a glimpse into this lonely boy, they should readily empathize with Emil's romantic awkwardness, familial strains and his gawky endeavors to make sense of his life. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 05/14/2007
Release date: 04/01/2007
Paperback - 328 pages - 978-0-439-83244-1
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-545-23191-6
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