My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Twelve-year-old Harper Raine and her family have relocated from New York City to DC during the heat of summer. There’s much to get used to, the incessant heat, and the “gothic charm” of their new house and the renovations.
Her four-year-old brother, Michael is oblivious, and it’s strange that his room is cold with an unnatural chill when she visits, and he tells her about his new friend, Billy, pointing to a corner.
Michael is frustrated Harper can’t see him. His words trigger a memory of Harper’s when she was five-years-old when she had a best friend her older sister couldn’t see either.
“Billy doesn’t like when you call his house stupid.”
Harper covers for Michael when he tries telling their mother. She doesn’t like things she can’t understand. Harper doesn’t understand either.
Nothing has been the same since Harper’s accident. Reviewing her memory book, an unfinished jigsaw puzzle, that had one missing piece. Unable to remember anything about the fire at school, when she was hospitalized with several broken bones. It’s what the mind does to forget terrible tragedy. Did she really want to remember what happened?
With the move, Harper’s Korean grandmother lives closer, and she can’t wait to see her. But her mother won’t speak to her. She hasn’t in years. Harper misses her grandmother terribly, and through all the hauntings, and missing memories, Harper works to reunite them. Turns out, Grandma has a few surprises.
Ooh, I LOVED this fun, spooky middle-grade book! The ghosts were truly evil and SCARY! Harper has to go through several hoops to save her brother, and her older sister blames her for the move to D.C. One of my favorite scenes is Harper confronting a salesperson who’s a racist, and she sticks up for herself! The author is the founder of “We Need Diverse Books”.
The first in a series, I can’t wait to read the follow-up, ISLAND OF MONSTERS, for more spooky-fun! Out now!
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