cover image Spook House

Spook House

Mary-Claire Helldorfer, M. C. Helldorfer. Bradbury Press, $13.95 (151pp) ISBN 978-0-02-743514-6

Will, 12, and two newcomers to the seaside community of Paradise get together to make something extraordinary out of the deserted old May estate. Will, whose parents own the local diner, is a long-time resident. Toes and Sam have just moved to Paradise, where their parents run a grocery store. Together the three children create a haunted house and conduct tours. Meanwhile, an unscrupulous developer is planning to torch the house. An opaque, minimalist writing style may make this difficult for some readers to enjoy or even become involved in. At times, characters and their actions are difficult to tell apart. Dangling plot lines, including Will's sadness over the death of his dog and the fact that his best friend has moved away, only serve to further tangle the slight story. Ages 9-up. (Aug.)