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Author: Oh, Ellen
There are rumors that the Raine family's new house is haunted. Unexplainable events and tragedy seem to have befallen every family that's lived there before. Harper isn't sure she believes those rumors until her younger brother, Michael, starts acting strangely. The once cheerful boy has been sulking ever since the move, clinging to his mother, alienating his sisters, and throwing tantrums whenever he doesn't get his way. Is Michael being a normal kid, or is something more sinister going on?
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 190032
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 71456
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 05/01/2017 Gr 4–6—Harper Raine suffered through a series of accidents but has no memory of them. She and her family have just moved to Washington, DC, but this is no fresh start: Harper begins hearing rumors that their new home is haunted. Is that why her little brother Michael is acting so strangely? The mysteries build into a truly frightening thriller, with some brutal scenes that may scare more sensitive readers not familiar with horror tropes. A spirit attacks Harper by throwing her down the stairs and stabbing her with a toy truck. In a memorable scene, the walls pulse with dark liquid and a ghost presents himself as a rotting corpse. The straightforward, direct language tempers the drama, though it occasionally results in stilted dialogue. For instance, Harper's new friend Dayo invites her to eat "jerk chicken with rice and callaloo, which are delicious Jamaican stewed greens." Dayo's Jamaican background and Harper's Korean culture aren't the main subjects of the story, but they add depth. Harper's pride in her grandmother's Korean traditions helps her defeat the house's evil spirit, and she learns that racial divisions can exist even after death: the white ghosts in a segregated graveyard don't trust a ghost who is buried in the neighboring African American graveyard. VERDICT This mystery thriller infused with diverse characters and intriguing themes will appeal to horror fans and to reluctant readers who enjoy a good scare.—Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/01/2017 *Starred Review* Harper feels it from the second her family moves into the creaky, old house: there is something deeply evil lurking there. She’s always been attune to the spirit world, a fact that has frightened her parents into denial. She even had an encounter with a ghost so terrifying and damaging that she was sent to a mental institution for a while. This relocation to D.C. was supposed to be a fresh start for their family, but Harper soon realizes with horror that her sweet little brother Michael is being possessed by the malevolent ghost of an evil boy who died in the house years before. As Michael grows more and more violent under the spirit’s control, Harper realizes that her family is in grave danger. Can she learn to master her powers and conquer her fears to defeat the spirit before it overtakes her brother completely? Oh’s book is truly and deeply creepy, with increasingly haunting and disturbing imagery culminating in a wonderful and terrifying battle of spirits. Even more impressive than the shiver factor is the way the author skillfully uses the compelling premise to present a strong, consistent message of not rejecting what you don’t understand—a most welcome message. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.