Ghost Town

( 11 )

Overview

In this start to a paranormal series, Sara’s new town has a lot of history—and a lot of ghosts who want to tell her all about it.

Sara Collins is a normal twelve-year-old girl with an abnormal secret: She is psychic. She’s had her abilities for as long as she can remember, but she doesn’t like to talk about them. She hopes that if she ignores them, they might go away. Sara wants nothing more than to have a normal life, and to her, “normal” ...

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Ghost Town

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Overview

In this start to a paranormal series, Sara’s new town has a lot of history—and a lot of ghosts who want to tell her all about it.

Sara Collins is a normal twelve-year-old girl with an abnormal secret: She is psychic. She’s had her abilities for as long as she can remember, but she doesn’t like to talk about them. She hopes that if she ignores them, they might go away. Sara wants nothing more than to have a normal life, and to her, “normal” doesn’t include anything paranormal.

But Sara’s life is about to be turned upside down, because she’s moving across the country with her dad to an old shore town in New Jersey. A shore town with a lot of history…and more than its fair share of ghosts roaming around. As Sara tries to settle into her new home, she discovers that for the first time, the ghosts around her can communicate with her. One ghost in particular desperately needs something from her and won’t leave her alone. Sara wants to help, but she’s scared. Can Sara put her fear aside and help the spirit? Will doing so put her in jeopardy?

Meanwhile, Sara meets a great local girl named Lily Randazzo, and against all odds, really bonds with her. Sara has made a true friend for the first time in her life. Maybe New Jersey isn’t so bad after all….

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442496965
  • Publisher: Simon Spotlight
  • Publication date: 6/4/2013
  • Series: Saranormal Series , #1
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Phoebe Rivers had a brush with the paranormal when she was thirteen years old, and ever since then she has been fascinated by people who see spirits and can communicate with them. In addition to her intrigue with all things paranormal, Phoebe also loves cats, French cuisine, and wiling her afternoons away in coffee shops writing stories. She has written dozens of books for children of all ages and is thrilled to now be exploring Sara’s paranormal world.

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Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

“See, it’s not so different. Open your window and smell the air,” my father instructed as we turned off the highway. He pressed a button somewhere to the left of the steering wheel, and my window rolled down by itself.

I cringed at the thought of what I might see out there and turned my back on the warm, summer breeze cutting through the stale odor of the rental car.

“Do you smell the ocean air, Sara?” my father asked, a little too eagerly. “Just like home. I mean, like California. They smell the same, don’t you think?”

I didn’t think so. The Atlantic Ocean smelled heavy and thick and salty. The Pacific didn’t have a smell, or at least it didn’t have one that I could remember.

I stared at my chipped purple nail polish, unwilling to look out the window, unwilling to inhale more East Coast air. My dad was trying so hard to make me happy. But I had this huge knot in my stomach that just wouldn’t go away and I couldn’t pretend to be happy, not even for my dad. Not today.

Pressing the automatic window button on my side, I heard the glass close, cocooning us once again in our bubble against the world.

“Do you want to talk about it?” my father asked, for what was probably the hundredth time. His voice was gentle. “Come on, Sara, the move will be good for us.”

“How do you know that?” I asked, shifting my gaze from the oblong stain of unknown origin on the gray-blue upholstered seat to the gray faux-leather dashboard. I held tight to the belief that if I didn’t look outside, New Jersey wouldn’t exist. “I liked California.”

My dad ran one hand through his curly brown hair. “You’ll like it here, too. Give it time.” He turned his attention back to the road through the small town, clogged with late-summer beach traffic.

Discussion over. That was classic Dad. He didn’t like to dig too deep, or push too hard. He preferred to wait for me to come to him, which was fine when I was little, but it’s a little more complicated now that I’m twelve.

What I didn’t get was why—now—were we suddenly diving in and moving across the country to some strange shore town where we knew no one?

Dad said it was his job. But, seriously, although my long blond hair and blue eyes make a lot of people assume I’m a flake, I’m way smarter than that. New Jersey doesn’t need another insurance claims adjuster, no matter how great my dad may be at his job. There was more to it. I just didn’t know what.

We drove in silence. A lot of people get freaked out by silence. I don’t mind it. Dad and I often hang out together without talking. Dad’s not a big sharer of thoughts or feelings. At my old school, the teachers always called me shy because I didn’t speak much. I don’t think I’m shy. I just realized early on that not everything needs to be vocalized. There’s a difference between shy and quiet.

“Our street’s coming up,” my dad announced. “I’m pretty sure I remember it from last time.” He’d flown out last month to meet his new boss and find us a place to live. I’d stayed behind at Aunt Charlotte’s house. We didn’t visit my dad’s younger sister much, and after four days of living with her and my crunchy uncle Dexter on their organic avocado farm, I could see why.

Dad slowed the car, raised his aviator sunglasses, and squinted at the map from the rental counter at the airport. Then he turned right onto Seagate Drive. So my new street was called Seagate Drive. . . .

I wrapped my arms around my knees and stole a look out the window. I couldn’t help it. My curiosity was too intense.

Old Victorian houses painted pastel colors lined the narrow street. I stared in amazement at a three-story lavender house with powder-blue trim. I’d never seen a house like that before! It was so different from the simple stucco house I’d grown up in.

“Nice street, right?” my dad asked, driving slowly.

“Nice” isn’t the word I would have chosen. “What kind of people paint their house pink?” I asked instead, pointing to a pink house on our left.

He let out an exasperated sigh. “Happy people.”

I wanted to reply, to say something nice so I didn’t sound like such a brat, but the tingling had started. In my left foot. Always my left foot first. Go away, I prayed. Oh, please, go away. My heart beat rapidly.

I knew what the tingling meant.

Three houses down, a group of dark-haired kids played on a circular white-pebbled driveway. Bikes, skateboards, and jump ropes lay scattered about, and shrieking laughter wafted through my closed window. I watched them chase one another, certain they were all related. A girl about my age ran after a younger boy. I wondered what she was like. Then the tingling spread to my right foot and began to creep up my legs.

“Here we are,” my dad announced. He waited nervously for my reaction as our car stopped in front of a weathered gabled house.

I blinked several times, struggling to focus. Willing the feeling to go away, I tried to focus on the details of the house. The sea air had weathered the once-vibrant siding. The painted burnt-orange trim was faded and peeling. A huge covered porch with decorative railings wrapped around the front. The second-floor windows opened to several small walkout balconies. Three large windows protruded from the roof, and an octagonal turret rose along the right side of the house.

The tingling rippled through my entire body. My dad was saying something about Victorian architecture, but I barely heard him. They were here. I couldn’t see them yet, but I could sense them. I knew they were here.

So many of them.

I squeezed my eyes tight, hoping to block them out. Then the nausea came over me, and I felt like I might throw up right there. The force of their presence pushed against me. I could feel them reaching for me . . . needing me.

“Sara? Do you feel all right?”

I opened my eyes and shook my head. “Must have been the airplane food,” I managed to croak.

“The house needs some work,” my dad said. “Except for the little storefront, the house has been totally empty for quite a while. But what do you think?”

My breath caught in my throat as they finally came into view. The old, hunched woman rocking in the swing on the porch. The young man in the cap hanging out the dormer window. The angry-looking man with the mustache by the front door. The slim woman in the long nightgown staring out the bay window. Everyone shimmered and vibrated slightly in the midday sun. My head throbbed.

My father was wrong. The house wasn’t empty.

Dead people still lived there.

And I could see them.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

    Saranormal is Sara-wonderful!

    My 11-year old daughter was interested in reading this book, so I decided to purchase it for her and peruse it to make sure it was appropriate. Needless to say, I ended up reading the entire book! This lovely tale of Sara and her blossoming paranormal abilities is absolutely perfect for those young girls out there who may feel hesitant about embracing new things in their lives... starting at a new school, moving in to a new home, making new friends, and most importantly, growing up and learning more about themselves. With a New Jersey shore town as it's backdrop, you can smell the cotton candy and popcorn on the boardwalk, taste the salt in the air from the ocean, and hear the seagulls and crashing waves. This combination, along with instantly lovable characters like her father, new friend Lily Randazzo, and the mysterious Lady Azura, build a basis for the idea of an extremely charming series. I, along with my daughter, cannot wait to read the further adventures of Sara!

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 12, 2012

    Loved this story!

    This book is engaging and will keep young readers turning the pages. It has a spooky-spine tingling feel. It also is good to read about making friends and doing good things even when that is hard. Enjoyed reading it and am looking forward to the next installments.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2012

    Saranormal is the best book ever

    I stayed up in the night till one in the mornig reading this book in the begginig of summer I really enjoyed it and I hope others like it to!!! I am 11 years old now in 6th grade I hope other people love this book just like I do!!!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    Sara Normal is a blatant ripoff (and I mean blatant copyright in

    Sara Normal is a blatant ripoff (and I mean blatant copyright infringement of a webcomic called Tara Normal that was submitted to the publisher prior to the publication of the first SN book). Don't reward international conglomerates for stepping on the work of actual creators.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2013

    Great

    Amazing!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2012

    Great

    Such a great book keeps you entertained

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2014

    Crazy Good

    Great series...I'm already on book seven

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2013

    Saranormal

    I love it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2014

    Best book ever!

    The saranormal seiries is a great collection of book and so exiting

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2014

    The title of this book maybe a ripoff of a webcomic called Taran

    The title of this book maybe a ripoff of a webcomic called Taranormal ( which I don't even know that it exist until I see reviews of Saranormal books) ,but the story is interesting and thrilling. I feel like I am riding a roller coaster when I read the book. This book shows me that sometimes it maybe hard to fit in, but there will be at least a person who will appreciate of who you are or what is your background. This book also let me know about broad walks, since I am not from the U.S.A. The characters,settings,story makes this a book that is worth to buy. I am going to buy Saranormal:Haunted Memories when school is over and learn about Sara's powers and interesting sequel story. This is one of the the best reads that I ever had in my bookshelf.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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