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|Curious tale of the in-between|
Author: DeStefano, Lauren
Bright, imaginative, eleven-year-old Pram lives with two aunts who run a retirement home, hiding the fact that she can talk with ghosts--but not the spirit of her mother--and after befriending Clarence, who also lost his mother, she decides to find her father in hopes he can answer her questions.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 177662
Kirkus Reviews (07/01/15)
School Library Journal (08/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/15)
The Hornbook (00/09/15)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2015 DeStefano’s latest—and the first in a series—is about a girl named Pram, short for Pragmatic, and so named in the hope that she would be unlike her impractical, dreamy mother. Even with such precautions, Pram remains tied to her mom in quite a disturbing way: before Pram was born, her mother committed suicide, passing on to her daughter an ability to see into the world of the dead and converse with ghosts. Unfortunately there are those who see her talent as something to exploit. Soon the girl and her friend Clarence are lured into trouble by a dishonest spiritualist. From there, murder, incarceration in a haunted asylum, and hints that Pram’s captor is bent on sucking her soul dry, up the shivery ante. Figuring out how to save herself and access more of the world of in-between sets things up nicely for future ventures. The perfect book to hand to readers looking for the mysterious and spooky. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2015 Gr 4–7—Pram Bellamy possesses a strange talent: she can see and hear ghosts. Unfortunately, her gift makes fitting in at school a challenge, so she prefers the company of her books and her ghostly friend, Felix. Then Pram meets Clarence, a lonely boy who has also lost his mother, and the two forge a friendship through their common bond. Just as Pram is beginning to embrace a more ordinary life, however, her extraordinary nature puts her in danger. The mysterious Madame Savant is more than willing to kidnap and murder to get what she wants—and she means to use Pram's abilities to fuel her own ambitions. Bereft of friends and family and struggling with powers she's just beginning to understand, Pram has to break free of her captors. DeStefano's story is startlingly dark, with mature themes of death, madness, and suicide coupled with a lively paranormal adventure. The author explores not only the mysteries of the beyond but also the impact of absent parents and the healing powers of friendship. While the emotionally charged narrative is less likely to satisfy those looking for a spooky thrill, more sophisticated readers will appreciate the vivid characters with rich internal lives. VERDICT Readers who enjoyed A.J. Paquette's Rules for Ghosting (Bloomsbury, 2013) and Grave Images by Jenny Goebel (Scholastic, 2013) will want to give this title a try.—Stephanie Whelan, New York Public Library - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.