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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Haunted October - The Girl in the Locked Room by Mary Downing Hahn

A family moves into an old, abandoned house. Jules's parents love the house, but Jules is frightened and feels a sense of foreboding. When she sees a pale face in an upstairs window, though, she can't stop wondering about the eerie presence on the top floor—in a room with a locked door. Could it be someone who lived in the house a century earlier?
Her fear replaced by fascination, Jules is determined to make contact with the mysterious figure and help unlock the door. Past and present intersect as she and her ghostly friend discover—and change—the fate of the family who lived in the house all those many years ago

I received an ARC of this from NetGalley in return for an honest review

This was a short, fast pace middle-grade ghost story. It didn't take me long to read and it was pretty good. Interesting plot and characters.

Some things were super convenient to the plot, forcibly moving the characters along, rather than organically.  I did find the author using an old fantasy series to help Jules solve the mystery rather creative. In fact until this book I didn't even know who Diana Wynne Jones was.

The chapters go back and forth between Lily, the ghost, and Jules the living girl in the present.

The book delves into Jules home life where she's been moved from town to town and school to school because of her dad's job and how much she wants to stay in one place and be able to make friends. She is quite relatable and her parents quirky and fleshed out.

Jules grows as a character, she really talks to her parents about how lonely she's been, that she worries about being the new girl in school, again. Then we get to see her become instant BFF's with a local girl who helps her figure out how to help the ghost locked in the room,

While it wasn't, for me, creepy. This book had a ton of elements I like in my ghost stories and put in some you don't usually see. Like other times lines and dimensions.

I'll be buying this for my 9 years old, as I find a younger audience will really appreciate this novel. A cute way to start off my Halloween reading month.

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