cover image A Festival of Ghosts

A Festival of Ghosts

William Alexander. S&S/McElderry, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4814-6918-0

In National Book Award–winner Alexander’s follow-up to 2017’s A Properly Unhaunted Place, the newly haunted town of Ingot’s young “appeasement specialist,” Rosa Díaz, has her hands full. Something at Ingot Public School is stealing students’ voices, and it seems to be a particularly ornery ghost. Banishments can be disastrous, so she makes simple offerings to soothe the spirits, but she’d rather be studying among the stacks of the Ingot Public Library, where she lives in the basement with her mom, Athena. Rosa’s friend Jasper Chavalier and his parents are trying to restore the Renaissance festival that they run, but ghosts have taken over and are scaring away the handymen. When the mayor builds a copper wall to banish spirits, it goes terribly wrong; in the aftermath, Rosa, who worries that her father may be haunting them, learns the surprising truth about his death. Jasper effortlessly understands the living, perfectly balancing the pragmatic and capable Rosa, who feels a kinship with the dead. And Alexander’s message—that acceptance and empathy, not building walls, is the answer—will resonate. Ages 8–12. [em](Aug.) [/em]