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In this adventure set in the 1950s, 11-year-old Lewis Barnavelt and his friend Rose Rita discover a peculiar-looking, empty house nestled in the woods near their hometown of New Zebedee, MI. Eerie sounds emanate from it, and Lewis is sure that he sees an army of ghosts marching nearby. His Uncle Jonathan explains that the Hawaii House was built long ago by a retired sea captain for his Hawaiian princess wife, and that all of its occupants mysteriously died in their sleep, and makes the children promise to stay away from it. The bulk of the story takes place a few years later, when David and his family move into the house, and Lewis must summon his inner boldness to help his new friend exorcise the evil spirits from his home. Filled with likable, kooky characters, this mystery is fast paced and funny. Lewis's Uncle Jonathan, a sorcerer, and their neighbor, eccentric Mrs. Zimmerman, a kindly witch, add a magical element that is sure to appeal to fantasy fans. Yet, the normalcy of the younger characters allows readers to relate to the protagonists and root for them the whole way through.
—Carly B. WiskoffCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.