Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh

Published by HarperCollins

Summary:  It’s a familiar premise:  Harper’s family moves into a creepy old house, rumored to be haunted, and before long her little brother Michael is talking to his “imaginary friend” and not acting like himself.  But this story has some interesting twists.  Harper was accused of starting a fire at her school and sent to a psychiatric hospital where she mysteriously wound up with two broken arms.  Her beloved grandmother is estranged from her mother, and Harper suspects she is the reason.  As the story unfolds, her memory begins to return in flashbacks.  She also starts to have visions of what happened in the house before her family moved there.  Finally, her grandmother defies Harper’s mother and returns, knowing that Harper and Michael need her and her Korean shamanic powers.  Harper discovers some powers of her own, and it’s up to her to get Michael back in a truly creepy scene, as the evil spirits of the house try to possess both children.  This book is billed as book 1, and the ending alludes to a haunted playground nearby, so horror fans can hope for a sequel in the near future.  288 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  Keep the lights on when you read this one!  It’s not just about the scariness, though; there’s a cast of interesting characters including Harper, her family members, and her two best friends…one human and one ghost.  The best horror book I’ve read since The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier.

Cons:  After all that happens, the family decides to stay in the house in the end.  What?!

If you’d like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.

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