Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dial-a-Ghost -- Eva Ibbotson

I love Ibbotson, but I forgot just how gruesome her imagery can be. Her style reminds me of Roald Dahl's--quirky, delightful, and, in the best possible sense, a tad bit morbid.

This off-the-wall story follows the sweet, polite Wilkinson ghost family, the evil, vengeful Shriekers spook couple, and the humans who adopt them. It is endlessly entertaining. My one complaint with Ibbotson is that she has a nasty habit of switching from characters' regular names to their nicknames and back again without warning. Even so, the characters themselves are brilliantly written and easy enough to distinguish from one another.

This is a terrific book with plenty of twists, humor, and a wonderful ending. It's perfect for a reader looking for an exciting, but not too scary, story.

Estimated Reading Level: 5th grade
Grade: B+

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