Ghost Girl by Ally Malinenko
Perfect for fans of Small Spaces and Nightbooks, Ally Malinenko’s middle-grade debut is an empowering and triumphant ghost story—with spooky twists sure to give readers a few good goosebumps!
Zee Puckett loves ghost stories. She just never expected to be living one.
It all starts with a dark and stormy night. When the skies clear, everything is different. People are missing. There’s a creepy new principal who seems to know everyone’s darkest dreams. And Zee is seeing frightening things: large, scary dogs that talk and maybe even . . . a ghost.
When she tells her classmates, only her best friend, Elijah, believes her. Worse, mean girl Nellie gives Zee a cruel nickname: Ghost Girl.
But whatever the storm washed up isn’t going away. Everyone’s most selfish wishes start coming true in creepy ways.
To fight for what’s right, Zee will have to embrace what makes her different and what makes her Ghost Girl. And all three of them—Zee, Elijah, and Nellie—will have to work together if they want to give their ghost story a happy ending.
Expected publication: August 10th 2021 by Katherine Tegen Books
Ghost Girl was a story about bullying, being selfish, family issues, and friendship.
Zee loves to tell stories. She runs them by her only real friend, Elijah, and they tend to scare him. Zee tells so many stories that it’s hard to believe some of what she says. Zee and Elijah hang out at the cemetery. She left without permission one day after a huge storm and ended up there. Zee saw a dog, something that looked evil. But she told herself that she was seeing things. But then a ghost talked to her at a library. She tried to play it off, but her enemy, Nellie, saw her talking to no one. So Nellie started calling her Ghost Girl. Zee and Nellie have never gotten along. Zee blames Nellie alone, but luckily sees later on that her actions were a problem, too. But back to the story. Zee finally sees a definite ghost in her house and can’t ignore it anymore. They get a new, creepy principal at school that wears all black except for a red glove. Mr. Scratch talks to all the family members in town along with the students. He tells them to visualize what they want most and it will happen. He basically puts everyone under his spell. They’re so thrilled when they are getting what they wanted.
Zee wants to get Nellie back for a fight they had along with other bullying. They trick her into going to the cemetery with Elijah. But when they’re there, more dogs show up. There are three and they each picked a kid. Nellie realizes that she needs to work with Zee and Elijah to figure out what’s going on in their town and to stop those dogs.
The friendships really stood out to me in this one. I did love Zee’s stories, too. Mr. Scratch was super weird. I ended up really liking this quick read.
I gave this book 4 stars. Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for my review copy.
Warnings for bullying, verbal abuse, fat shaming, death of a parent, missing parent, mentally ill parent.
Have you read this? Is it on your TBR?