Thursday, November 9, 2023

Today's read... The Girl in the Window by Lindsey Hobson

Today's read tiptoes on the spookier end of things and promises chills and mystery for the middle grade audience. I do enjoy a creepy mystery and decided to take a peek. I'm going to admit that I almost turned this one away due to the cover...yes, I'm superficial like that...but I've read several books from this publisher and have been impressed with the quality so far. So, I decided to give this one a go. After all, art is a matter of personal taste. 
Let's see if I was right in picking it up and diving in.

(Spoiler: If this was published this year, I would have edged it into my possible favorites of 2023 list) 

Izzy Gordon Ghost Adventures
Book One
by Lindsey Hobson
Monarch Educational Services, LLC
Middle Grade Paranormal / Horror
168 pages
ages 8 to 12

APRIL 4th, 2024!!!

When Izzy breaks a window in the creepy house next door, her summer plans suddenly go from playing baseball in the backyard to doing yard work for mysterious Mr. Johnson to pay for the damage. Just when she thinks it can't get any worse, she encounters a ghost girl with a cryptic HELP ME. As Izzy begins to unravel the mystery surrounding the girl's death, she discovers a whole new meaning to being friends... forever.

GOODREADS   /    AMAZON    /    B&N


Spooks and chills hit in all the right ways, while building a grabbing mystery around a girl, who'd make an awesome friend.

Izzy loves playing baseball with her siblings and close friend, but when her super hit lands the ball right through a window, her excitement is smothered. The window belongs to the creepiest house in the neighborhood. It's said that the old man living there had a daughter who died from poisoning. And he's mean and cranky, too. Izzy would love to let the mistake slide since her mother can't afford anything after the death of their father, but her mother insists she apologize and offer to do chores as a form of payment. But her mother has no clue what is truly lurking inside the house.

I'm glad I picked this one up. While the cover isn't my thing, the story is one that shouldn't be missed. Izzy comes across like a very normal girl and is easy to connect with. Although her father passed away during a car accident not long before, the grief does not overwhelm this tale. Instead, the siblings and mother support each other in a wholesome attempt to continue on...even when it is rough. This allows the lighter aspects of Izzy's personality to invite the reader in. While a little entertaining banter between siblings adds a touch of humor, this also creates enough positivity to even out the darker aspects of the story. In other words, it's well balanced for the audience. There's character depth and tougher themes, especially surrounding the death of a loved one. Even with all of this, the creeps, mystery and sudden twists and turns make it a read to enjoy from beginning to end. 

The author allows the reader to get a good handle on Izzy's everyday life before opening up to the darker mystery and ghostly moments. The paranormal end holds surprising potency and lures the reader in before twisting in an unexpected direction, which makes every sure guess fall apart. The danger went higher than I expected and still remained great for the age range. It was easy to read in one setting, very well woven, and has me eager to see what Izzy will discover next.

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