By Shelly Brown
Tiffany Hart dreams of one thing, to be class president. But dreams turn to nightmares when she ends up almost dead in an abandoned slaughterhouse and develops the gift of ghost-seeing. Unfortunately she only knows one person who can help her shake her ghoulish problem, her neighbor and the weirdest boy at school, Justin Henderson. Justin has been seeing spirits since he was nine, a creepy claim that has earned him the privilege of eating lunch by himself for years. Together they start to unravel a mystery with dead orphans, a white witch, and phantom spiders. To save their lives (and afterlives of innocent children) they must face a terrifying specter and a ghastly woman who isn’t afraid of hurting kids, dead or alive. (Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
Initially, I was quite worried about Tiffany as a character. She’s caught up in teen drama and concerned only for herself. At times, she’s even mean to Justin, her friend since elementary school. Tiffany has a change of heart, and even though she would like to be class president, she learns who true friends are and how they’re the ones who stand by you in hard times. When Tiffany says, she’s basically a babysitter for ghosts I just about died laughing. Really, can it be that hard? She will attest to the fact that it’s harder than it looks. Ghosts don’t need to sleep but we do, so right there is one of the problems of being a ghostsitter.
Justin is a mixed bag and doesn’t feel like he fits in. He’s big, smells like burnt sage (a sure-fire recipe to keep ghosts away – as well as friends) and he sees ghosts, at least on every Wednesday. To make matters worse, he’s had a crush on Tiffany for years – for reasons even he can’t explain.
As the scenes develop, I was surprised to see that the book was spookier than the cover indicated. I actually think having it a little scarier is better. Too often, I’ve heard my kids complain that books don’t do a good enough job. If it has ghosts they want it scary. Ghostsitter is layered with problems and ghosts, who each have their own reason for coming around. There were moments when I laughed – cue the spiders to enter – and times when I thought, “Oh no! What’s next?” A screaming woman in the graveyard that seems bent on your destruction is not the kind of outing one hopes for, especially with a parade of ghosts following you everywhere. Where is there peace for the dead? Tiffany and Justin work together to find the answer to this very question.
To find out more get Ghostsitter immediately, it will grab you as surely as a ghost in a graveyard! This is a middle-grade book but I think kids as old as 14 could still enjoy it.
4.5 out of 5 stars
If you’ve enjoyed Ghostsitter, try Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George and Happenstance Found by P.W. Cantanese.