cover image Dying to Meet You

Dying to Meet You

Kate Klise, , illus. by M. Sarah Klise. . Harcourt, $15 (147pp) ISBN 978-0-15-205727-5

This fresh, funny launch of the 43 Old Cemetery Road series introduces an eccentric cast with pun-tastic names. I.B. Grumply, a cranky children's book author with writer's block, rents a dilapidated Victorian mansion (from realtor Anita Sale) in the town of Ghastly in hopes of writing an addition to his Ghost Tamers series (publisher: Paige Turner). He discovers that the owners have left their son Seymour behind while—in one of several ironic twists—they tour Europe debunking the existence of ghosts. Seymour does indeed “see more” than others: he has befriended Olive C. Spence, a feisty ghost who has vowed to haunt the house until she accomplishes what she couldn't in life—publish a book. As in the “Regarding the...” series, written by these sibling collaborators, the story unfolds through characters' correspondence (“The man is impossible ! I should've dropped THREE chandeliers on his head,” Olive writes Seymour about Grumply) as well as other documents, including illustrated pages from the local tabloid. Despite a slightly sappy denouement, the story is light enough for more tentative readers, with many humorous details to reward those who look closer. Ages 8–12. (Apr.)