In her first middle-grade novel, DeStefano (the Internment Chronicles) explores the connection between the human and spirit worlds. Since birth, Pram has been able to communicate with ghosts—her mother hanged herself while pregnant with Pram, and doctors barely saved Pram’s life. Shielded from the truth about her mother’s death by her caretaker aunts, 11-year-old Pram spends most of her time with books and her protective ghost friend, Felix, until she meets Clarence, a classmate at the school Pram starts attending. They bond over their motherlessness and set out to find Pram’s father—a sailor who may not know she exists—and the spirit of Clarence’s mother. Lady Savant, a spiritualist, promises to help them, but her true intentions endanger the living and the dead. DeStefano creates a beguiling world through haunting images and descriptions (of spirits, she writes, “There was a certain energy they carried, an urgency to be somewhere that no longer existed, or to do something that could no longer be done”). An eerie, moving story about “that murky place between this world and the one that comes after it.” Ages 8–12. Agent: Barbara Poelle, Irene Goodman Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/13/2015 Release date: 09/01/2015 Genre: Children's
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