Author: Ireland, Justina
Ophelia Harrison and her mother move to Pittsburgh after an injustice in Georgia brought the loss of both her father and her home. When her mother gets Ophie a job as a maid at Daffodil Manor where she works, Ophie begins to encounter ghosts. Ghosts who have their own loves and hatreds and desires, ghosts who have wronged others and ghosts who have themselves been wronged. While trying to help one of them, Ophie finds the manor may hold many deep, dark secrets.
|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 6.30
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 512392
Kirkus Reviews (09/01/21)
School Library Journal (06/04/21)
Booklist (+) (04/15/21)
The Hornbook (+) (00/05/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 04/15/2021 *Starred Review* The first time Ophie Harrison saw a ghost was the night her father was murdered by a lynch mob in 1922. Ophie and her mother escape from their Georgia home the same night to start a new life in Pittsburgh. Even after the change in location, ghosts (both literal and metaphorical) linger about the edges of their lives. After arriving in the city, they find work as servants for the Caruthers family at Daffodil Manor. Despite the cheerful name, the stately home is anything but. Ophie is assigned to care for the misanthropic Mrs. Caruthers but soon befriends Clara, a young ghost who cannot remember how she died. When Aunt Rose, an elderly relative who can also see ghosts, recognizes Ophie’s gift, she warns the young girl to be careful as ghosts are dangerous creatures. The desire to help Clara discover what happened to her is too strong to ignore, thus entangling Ophie in an incredibly sinister mystery. Ireland’s first middle-grade novel deftly examines the haunting aftermath of racial trauma and how people can learn to thrive despite it. Equal parts supernatural suspense and historical fiction, this is a compelling spin on the classic whodunit narrative. Younger fans of Ireland’s Dread Nation series or Ronald L. Smith’s Hoodoo (2015) will particularly enjoy this novel. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 06/04/2021 Gr 5–7—In 1923, 12-year-old Black girl Ophelia (Ophie) Harrison sees dead people, a talent that runs in her family but was jump-started early in her after the lynching of her father in Georgia. Three months later, she and her mother are in Pittsburgh working at Daffodil Manor, a mansion with four living inhabitants and a slew of ghosts. As Ophie takes care of grouchy, racist Mrs. Caruthers, she also begins to learn how to deal with her newfound abilities and befriends a helpful, unusually cheerful ghost named Clara. Ophelia is a likable character, strong and smart but definitely not perfect. Supporting characters are well drawn, and locations in the story—Pennsy (the Pennsylvania Railroad), the trolley, the city of Pittsburgh, Daffodil Manor—all read like characters themselves. Violence takes place mostly off-stage, but the real horror is racism, privation, and lack of decency faced by the Black characters every day. The mystery of Clara's death is ultimately solved, and the end is satisfying. VERDICT Chilling on a number of levels, this is a historically rooted ghost story well worth reading.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles P.L. - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.