Sunday, October 9, 2022

Today's read... The Ghost of Spruce Point by Nancy Tandon

This review was featured on Twinkl in their article ‘Best Horror Books for Kids’.

We're staying in the ghostly flow and taking a peek at a novel set in Maine. This one weaves around a resort and a curse...and a treehouse and friends. It's sounds like a fun adventure with a few spooks, but not too many. Or at least, that's my guess. 

But let's just head on in and find out. 

by Nancy Tandon
Aladdin Books
Middle Grade Paranormal
336 pages
ages 8 to 12

A young boy must unravel a curse to save his family’s beloved Maine motel in this spooky middle grade novel sure to delight fans of Whispering Pines and The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street!

Twelve-year-old Parker has grown up in his family’s Home Away Inn, nestled on a wooded peninsula in Maine called Spruce Point. His best friend, Frankie, has been staying at the inn every summer for years with her family. Together, they’ve had epic adventures based out of a nearby old treehouse that serves as their official headquarters for Kids Confidential Meetings.

But lately, business at the inn hasn’t been great, and Parker is pretty sure he knows why. It’s long been rumored that Mrs. Gruvlig, one of the few year-rounders on Spruce Point, has unique abilities of the supernatural kind. And Frankie is absolutely sure she saw a ghost on Mrs. Gruvlig’s property! As more and more spooky happenings occur around the Point, Parker and Frankie are convinced Spruce Point has been officially cursed.

GOODREADS   /   B&N    /   AMAZON  


Adventure mixes with ghosts, friendships, and the need to save the family business or leave the most awesome place to live forever.

Parker lives with his family in northern Maine on a off-the-beaten-ground tip of a peninsula, where they run a resort for tourists. Unfortunately, the last few years have been going downhill, and if this season doesn't perk-up, their going to have to give up the business and move into a town. It'd be the end of Parker's amazing life, but luckily, his best friend, Frankie, is back with her family for the season, but she holds bad news. She saw a ghost dancing in the neighbor's backyard...the 'mean' neighbor, who secretly harbors supernatural talents. Mix that with the curse, horrible storms, and unexplainable disasters keeping the tourists away at every turn, and Parker is in for quite the summer.

This is a fun adventure with a perfect setting. A tree house, forests, beaches,'s got the room and freedom for exploration pure. There will be more than a couple readers, who will wish they could spend their summer in such a place, too. The details sit just enough to let the scenes open up, while the mystery and attempt to save the resort keep the pacing high. Something is always going on, and it's hard to know what will happen next because there is quite a bit unfolding. 

Friendship is key as Parker not only reunites with his bestie, Frankie, but also has other seasonal friends (as well as new ones) join in. They are ready to give their all to meet their goals and hold 'secret' meetings, where adults are definitely not welcome. I enjoyed how Parker's younger sibling melded in and found the twist with the ghostly girl well-done. It weaves active imaginations with reality and allows the paranormal to seep in with grace.

This is a gentle ghost story with enough tension to keep those pages turning but not enough spooks and scares to ward off more sensitive readers. But that doesn't make it boring. There is a lot at stake, and the curse makes things dangerous. 

And here she is...

Nancy Tandon is a former teacher and speech/language pathologist who now writes for children full time. Her work has been awarded by the Shoreline Arts Alliance and New England Chapter of SCBWI.

1 comment:

Nancy Tandon said...

Thank you for reading and for booosting my day with this thoughtful review!!