“Among the Ghosts” by Amber Benson (Aladdin, 2010)

Among the Ghostsstarstarstarstar

Amber Benson takes a break from Calliope Reaper-Jones and tells an enchanting little story for the younger folk.  In the style of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline and Graveyard Book, Benson creates a unique world of fun characters in a very interesting place, with just enough scariness to keep young readers on the edge of their seats.

Noleen-Anne Harris Morgan Maypother, better known as Noh, is a strange little girl who likes her time to herself; her inquisitive and investigative nature makes her wiser beyond her years, and it seems like fate when she ends up visiting and staying with her aunt who works at the gothic and enchanting New Newbridge Academy.  Noh arrives early before the start of school where there are only teachers and no students yet to walk its high, echoing halls.  But this is a dream come true to her: a giant empty school, like an ancient castle, asking to be explored, filled with mysteries and enigmas.

And then there’s the West Wing, which mysteriously burned down.  As Noh gets to know some of the teachers, she also meets some kids her own age, which shouldn’t be possible since classes haven’t started yet.  It doesn’t take Noh long to realize that these kids are actually all ghosts.  The really strange thing is that you should only be able to see ghosts if you are one too.  And then there’s something that seems to be taking the ghosts, making them disappear for good.

Amber Benson seems to have found a perfect niche with Among the Ghosts, using a simple but descriptive and colorful language style that will keep any reader hooked and interested, as well as providing a compelling mystery that serves to compel her protagonist to find out what’s going on, as well as force the reader to keep reading until the very last page.

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Originally written on October 6 2010 ©Alex C. Telander.