Oh you spooky lovely story! If you enjoy history and suspense this middle grade book is a perfect fall read!
For fans of Small Spaces and the Goosebumps series by R.L Stine comes a chilling ghost story based on real Chicago history about a malevolent spirit, an unlucky girl, and a haunting mystery that will tie the two together.
Claire has absolutely no interest in the paranormal. She’s a scientist, which is why she can’t think of anything worse than having to help out her dad on one of his ghost-themed Chicago bus tours. She thinks she’s made it through when she sees a boy with a sad face and dark eyes at the back of the bus. There’s something off about his presence, especially because when she checks at the end of the tour…he’s gone.
Claire tries to brush it off, she must be imagining things, letting her dad’s ghost stories get the best of her. But then the scratching starts. Voices whisper to her in the dark. The number 396 appears everywhere she turns. And the boy with the dark eyes starts following her.
Claire is being haunted. The boy from the bus wants something…and Claire needs to find out what before it’s too late. from The Storygraph.
I am just a sucker for books set in Chicago. I am ridiculously proud of the city I live in, probably because I am so happy living here. This book ticked all of my boxes too – middle grade mystery, fantastic character development, and history!
Now, at first, one of my least favorite things was the main character. Claire doesn’t love what her Dad does for a living. We get it. But, I will never understand the mentality of kids who seem to think that they need to present the illusion that they sprang, fully formed, in middle school and have no parents or family at all. As her haunting becomes worse and worse she starts to open up to the people around her and she finds out that there is more to her family, and her friends, than she thought. Claire’s character development is easily one of the best parts of this book as you see her embrace the strengths and weaknesses of her friends as family as she tries to do the same with her own.
The author lives here in Chicago and has three children of her own. If you read this book and you are in disbelief that a 12 year old rides the bus around the city un-attended, I am here to assure you that this absolutely happens. There are no school busses in most neighborhoods and kids are given discounted CTA passes. You’ll see kids using the busses and El by themselves all of the time.
While the story has fantastic spook factor, the story was far more like Victoria Schwab’s Cassidy Blake series with that wonderful mixture of scariness and history. I love this combo as it gives the story a depth that connects me to elements of the book and my real world.
The scare factor in this book was more, what on earth is happening??, rather than heart pounding terror and I loved it. I simply could not put it down!
Yahoo! This book counts toward my Ruin of the Skye since it features a ghost!
Tell me, please! Do you enjoy scary stories?