The Ghost of GraylockFeatured Hot
A great scary book
Neil and Bree are living in a small town with their aunts while their father is off finding himself as an actor and their mother is in a hospital recuperating from depression. Things are not much fun until Neil meets Wesley and finds out about the abandoned asylum near town, Graylock Hall. There are all sorts of horrible local tales about it; three children died horrible deaths by drowning in a pond near the facility. Local children all have hear tales about Nurse Janet, who is implicated in these. Neil and Bree have a weird experience when they venture into the hospital with Wesley and his older brother (whom Bree rather likes); in one of the rooms, they feel unable to move, the flashlight batteries die, and they are scared and injured. A friend of their aunts', Andy, picks them up and takes them to the local doctor, warning them never to go near the hospital again. They don't need to be at the hospital to be haunted by the ghost of Rebecca, however-- she invades their dreams, showing them how she died and insisting on help. Neil and Bree find out some things about her-- she was a good student until her mother was killed in an accident, and then she descended into mental illness. Soon, they uncover the real circumstances, which put them in peril.
This book is awesome! It is everything that a ghost story should be. I am so glad that everyone else in the book club was too chicken to read this one and it fell to me.
This cover perfectly captures the eeriness of The Ghost of Graylock. The suspense I felt on some pages was intense. My heart raced and my throat felt tight. It was great! I really did not think a middle grades novel could deliver that much suspense.
Obviously, the majority of the book centers around a ghost story. That story is pretty crazy. The threads slowly unraveled throughout the book. It was a nice, steady unraveling. I didn't figure out the outcome until a few pages before the characters (big perk). A+ for plot line and creepiness.
But what I really liked about this book is the emotional haunting Neil faces that flickers just below the surface. There were many issues with his family that he has to come to terms with, and it's not an easy thing to do. He faces many emotions that children from divorced families face, and he handles those emotions with such believability. I was highly impressed. I read another book on the Sunshine State Reader list for this year that boasted a ghost story/coming of age tale. I did not like that book too much. It felt way too busy for my tastes. However, I think The Ghost of Graylock really hit the mark.