cover image The Girl with the Ghost Machine

The Girl with the Ghost Machine

Lauren DeStefano. Bloomsbury, $16.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-68119-444-8

Emmaline Beaumont was 10 years old when her mother died; two years later, her father remains so consumed by grief that it’s almost as if Emmaline has lost both parents. In a desperate attempt to bring his wife back, Monsieur Beaumont tinkers with his “ghost machine” night and day. When Emmaline’s attempt to destroy the machine doesn’t go as planned, she and readers are left pondering the question at the heart of the book: are precious memories of loved ones worth trading for the chance to interact with them one more time? Emmaline’s twin best friends, rational Gully and dreamy Oliver, represent the push and pull between hope and logic that plagues Emmaline and offer her new ways of understanding grief—until a new tragedy casts an even darker shadow on Emmaline’s life. Readers should be prepared for heaviness throughout: the relationships DeStefano (The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart) builds between her characters are sweet and piercingly true, but a deep sadness hangs over most of the interactions. Ages 8–12. Agent: Barbara Poelle, Irene Goodman Literary. (June)