Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Today's read... The Ghost of Old Central School by Deb Mercier and Ryan Jacobson

 What's October without a story about a ghost haunting the school hallways? This one even comes in a choose-your-own-path form...which I had a huge soft spot for as a kid. Even my own kids enjoy taking a peek at these. 

Today's read is just that and mixes in a little bit more with hints of Sherlock deductive-ness and some other fun add-ons. But before I say more...here it is!

A Choose Your Path Mystery
by Deb Mercier and
Ryan Jacobson
Lake 7 Creative
Middle Grade Mystery
152 pages
ages 8 to 12

OCTOBER 10th!!!

Become a kid detective. Identify suspects, gather clues, navigate puzzles, and solve the mystery in this interactive Choose Your Path adventure.

Old Central School is closing for good. Why? Because it’s reportedly haunted! Creepy noises, flickering lights, objects moving without explanation, Old Central has it all. The incidents have gotten so spooky that parents refuse to send their kids to school. Yet Irene Gould, a student there, doesn’t believe it’s true—and she’s hiring you to prove it. Choose your supplies, and let the investigation begin.

You’re the detective in this puzzling mystery. As you work your way through the story, it’s up to you to identify suspects and gather clues. Make choices that affect what happens next. Navigate challenging puzzles—from mazes to secret codes—to build your case. Use deductive reasoning to determine what the crime was, how it happened, and whodunit. But be careful; one wrong choice could lead to your doom!

Interactive books for kids are more popular than ever. Create your own adventure with the Detective: You book series for boys and girls. You’re the main character. You make the choices. Will you solve the case?



Dangerous predicaments, dark hallways, secrets, and evil intentions lurk in the most exciting corners, making this a fun, detective read.

When the 8th grade daughter of Central School's superintendent shows up, begging you to figure out the secret behind the school's haunting before the school's shutdown the next day, you're not sure this is the case for you. There are five suspects, tons of clues, and a large, dark school building, you know little about. You have less than 24-hours to investigate, and the entire time, you need to remain hidden. But that's only where the problems begin. Every step brings a choice, and there is more than a riddle or two along the way. Only you can solve the mystery....that is, if you don't get caught by the ghost along the way.

I've always been a huge fan of make-your-own-choices reads, and this one even added a little bit more to the fun. The tale starts out with a nostalgic vibe of a detective, sitting in the office (that old movie atmosphere of dark hats, lady in long, red dress), but instead swirls into a kid in a t-shirt, sitting in a garage. It's fun and holds a nice bite of personality. From there, it's written with a relaxed, smooth flow while still holding tension the entire way through. Each character met holds originality and the scenes come to life...without bogging down in descriptions. It's quick-paced, easy to read, and enjoyable. 

The book starts out with a few notes for the reader. First, it explains what deductive reasoning is and how it works, while mentioning Sherlock Holmes. It explains how to use the book, and how to cross out suspects (which most readers will already know). What gave this a little extra pizzazz, were the puzzles/riddles mixed in with the clues. The reader does get the chance to solve these. Also, the reader chooses which items to take with them before they head out to investigate the case. So, this does engage the reader more than the traditional choose-your-own-choice books do.

This is the type of book to cuddle up with under a blanket and read with a flashlight. I had a digital copy and did notice that it's not quite as much fun to read as a paperback copy would be, since sliding between the pages is a pain (and my reader has a slightly different numbering than the printed page numbers). So, I do suggest picking this one up in paper form. There were also a few inconsistencies in the details during the story, but these don't hurt the fun or story. I still highly recommend this read and believe even reluctant readers will enjoy hunting down the ghost...or failing in the process.

Discover more books in the series: https://booksforward.com/lake7creative/

And here they are...

Deb Mercier lives in greater Minnesota with her husband, dogs and outdoor critter friends. She is an award-winning journalist, author of 11 books for young readers, a former newspaper editor and a technical writer.

When Deb’s not dreaming up new stories, you can find her wandering the trails on bike and on foot, saving turtles from roadways and playing flute in the Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra.

Ryan Jacobson
is an award-winning author. He has written more than 60 books, with topics ranging from silly to scary. Ryan prides himself on writing high-interest books for children and adults alike, so he can talk about picture books in kindergarten, ghost stories in high school and other fun stuff in between. Some of his most popular works include the “Constellations Activity Book,” “Eagle in the Sky” and “Can You Survive the Call of the Wild?” Ryan is also the co-owner and president of 
Lake 7 Creative, LLC. His company creates activity books and sports books, and it specializes in developing interactive Choose Your Path books for young readers. When he isn’t writing, Ryan likes to build LEGO sets, play board games and try new restaurants. He lives in eastern Minnesota with his wife and two sons.

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