COLD IN SUMMER

Tracy Barrett, Author . Holt $16.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-8050-7052-1

Barrett (Anna of Byzantium) places a supernatural twist on a well-worn story line about an unwelcome move. Seventh-grader Ariadne, miserable at being uprooted from Florida when her professor mother gets a job in a small Tennessee college town, is daydreaming about running away when she encounters a silent girl in old-fashioned clothes. Eventually she and the girl, May Butler, become friends, but mysteries surface. Why does May so quickly appear and disappear? Why doesn't anyone else see May? Readers will outpace the heroine in her slow piecing together of May's identity (she is the ghost of a 19th-century local girl) and May's request, "You have to look for me and help me go home." Given May's benevolence (she appears to girls or boys needing help), the ghost story isn't especially frightening, and those familiar with the genre may find Barrett's clues too obvious to generate much momentum. Instead, the tension arises from Ariadne's investigation of the colorful local history and her attempt to carry out May's wishes. If somewhat tame, the story offers enough teasers to keep the audience going until the action-packed climax. Ages 10-14. (May)

Reviewed on: 05/05/2003
Release date: 05/01/2003
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-8050-9871-6
Ebook - 978-1-62779-672-9
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