Ghostlight

 
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Ghostlight
Author(s)
Age Range
10+
Release Date
August 04, 2015
ISBN
9780553522143
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Things that go bump in the night are just the beginning when a summer film project becomes a real-life ghost story! Avery is looking forward to another summer at Grandma’s farm, at least until her brother says he’s too old for “Kingdom,” the imaginary world they’d spent years creating. Lucky for her, there’s a new kid staying in the cottage down the road: a city boy with a famous dad, Julian’s more than a little full of himself, but he’s also a storyteller like Avery. So when he announces his plan to film a ghost story, Avery is eager to join in. Unfortunately, Julian wants to film at Hilliard House, a looming, empty mansion that Grandma has absolutely forbidden her to enter. As terrified as Avery is of Grandma’s wrath, the allure of filmmaking is impossible to resist. As the kids explore the secrets of Hilliard house, eerie things begin to happen, and the “imaginary” dangers in their movie threaten to become very real. Have Avery and Julian awakened a menacing presence? Can they turn back before they go too far?

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0  (1)
Characters 
 
4.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
3.0  (1)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

Perfect spooky story for middle grade readers

Avery enjoys spending summers at her Grandma’s Southern farm with her brother, but this year is different. Her brother no longer wants to play their imaginary games, so now Avery is left to her own devices. When she meets Julian, a boy also staying in the area for the summer, the two begin a film project about the creepy Hilliard House, a place that Avery has been forbidden to go to. As the project develops, Avery will uncover spooky secrets, a strange mystery, and learn the meaning of friendship.

GHOSTLIGHT by Sonia Gensler has a phenomenal setting, perfect for a young scary story. Gensler captures the Southern, small town atmosphere wonderfully, and the mysterious Hilliard House makes for an enjoyable and entertaining tale.

As exciting as the spooky moments in the story are, the depth of the family dynamics stole the show for me. Gensler explores several different types of relationships, from brother and sister to son and father to parent and grandparent. There are many serious undercurrent themes, such as when Avery feels a little lonely when her mother is too busy to give her attention and especially Julian’s complex relationship with his mother who has a mental illness. There is even a glimpse at the nuances between family members with different religious views, such as Avery’s mother and grandmother. Gensler incorporates all of these relationships and more smoothly, giving the reader plenty of room to think about the themes and ideas on his or her own.

As much as I do like this story, there are areas that are a bit slow and drag. In those areas, I found my attention easily diverting elsewhere, but this slower pacing at times definitely makes the unveiling of the big mystery richer and well worth the wait.

GHOSTLIGHT is a stellar, spooky story perfect for middle grade readers looking for a good Halloween time book. The complex family relationships take the story to a deep level, and the creepiness of the Hilliard House will keep readers highly entertained.

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