cover image Curse of the Boggin

Curse of the Boggin

D.J. MacHale. Random House, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-101-93253-7

Ghostly visitations, a bull attack, and a mysterious key are just a few of the elements MacHale (the Pendragon series) uses to creepy effect in this first book in his Library series. After seventh-grader Marcus O'Mara sees the ghost of Michael Swenor, a recently deceased New York City firefighter, he travels from Connecticut into the city to learn more, but he's shadowed by a menacing woman who tells him to "surrender the key." Swenor's widow gives Marcus the key in question and reveals that she knew Marcus's deceased biological parents. The truth about their deaths and the identity of the threatening woman lie in the Library, home to paranormal "disruptions"%E2%80%94in-progress, real-life stories. Enlisted as a library agent, Marcus attempts to "complete" Swenor's story, aided by best friends Lu and Theo, who round out an entertaining, quick-thinking, and racially diverse trio of heroes. Parental conflicts and school struggles add additional depth, but it's the eerie and enticing supernatural world that Marcus finds himself wrapped up in that will keep readers glued to this tense, fast-paced story. Ages 8%E2%80%9312. Agent: Richard Curtis, Richard Curtis Associates. (Sept.)