Spirit Seeker

Spirit Seeker

4.7 22
by Joan Lowery Nixon
     
 

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Holly Campbell's life has suddenly become a newspaper-headline nightmare. Her friend Cody's parents have just been found murdered, and Cody is the prime suspect. Even Holly's father, the police detective in charge of the investigation, thinks Cody is guilty. Holly knows she must help her friend. Will a mysterious psychic help her solve the case and prove Cody's

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Overview

Holly Campbell's life has suddenly become a newspaper-headline nightmare. Her friend Cody's parents have just been found murdered, and Cody is the prime suspect. Even Holly's father, the police detective in charge of the investigation, thinks Cody is guilty. Holly knows she must help her friend. Will a mysterious psychic help her solve the case and prove Cody's innocence?

Editorial Reviews

The ALAN Review - Nicholas J. Karolides
When Holly Campbell recognizes that her detective father believes that Cody Garnett, her friend, is the prime suspect in the murder of his parents, she sets out to prove him innocent. Determined, she follows leads that seem to lead nowhere, but the evidence points to him as does his behavior. With the help of a clairvoyant, she begins to get inside the case. Mainly she depends on herself; but, in an unexpected way, seeking the spirits helps Holly discover the villain. He tracks her and Cody and clearly is willing to commit a second double murder. Holly will not quite take on the mantle of Nancy Drew, but she makes a good try. The pace of the novel is fast, perhaps too fast, not allowing for the build-up of clues and counter-clues. Holly's investigative ingenuity is not fully tested. On balance, the text provides a degree of reality in Holly's behavior. Young middle schoolers will be the prime audience for Spirit Seeker.
Children's Literature - Mary Sue Preissner
Holly Campbell sets out to prove that her boyfriend did not murder his parents, though the whole town and her father (the chief police investigator of the crime) believe that Cody Garnett is guilty. Once again, Nixon draws the reader into another page-turning mystery, complete with injustice, perseverance, danger, and a mysterious psychic. Nixon also adeptly presents a multifaceted story, wherein the solving of the mystery also resolves an internal conflict of the protagonist.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-8-Holly thinks her homicide-detective father is entirely too preoccupied with his work and should spend more time at home. Her attitude changes, however, when her boyfriend becomes the prime suspect in the brutal murder of his parents. Unable to believe that Cody could be guilty, she sets out to prove his innocence. A strange neighbor who claims to be clairvoyant, a spirit seeker, tells Holly that she, too, possesses supernatural sensitivities. As Holly revisits the scene of the murder and spends time alone with Cody, suspense builds. Then incriminating evidence against him is found and only at the last minute is the true murderer revealed. The situation here is highly charged and emotional, but the characters never quite convey the horror of the situation. Cody grieves and is upset, but never to the point of heartfelt anguish. Holly's attempts at detective work are intriguing but don't always ring true. At one point, she looks in the dead man's computer files to discover questionable business dealings. This is a step the police would surely not overlook themselves. In the last few pages, everything is neatly-if not too realistically-wrapped up. The supernatural elements in the story, while at times significant, are kept low key. In the end, Holly is left feeling more self-confident and dismisses any ``super powers'' she may have. This thriller is tightly plotted and moves like a made-for-TV movie. Middle schoolers will devour it and never notice the few aforementioned flaws.-Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC
Jean Triner
Nixon's latest pits Holly Campbell against her police detective father in a race to discredit a growing mountain of evidence and exonerate her friend/boyfriend, Cody, before he is charged with the grisly double murder of his parents. Holly is engaging, her investigative techniques are realistically within the capabilities of a teenager, and her crisis of confidence over Cody's innocence is endearing. Younger readers will enjoy her and her friends; older teens will probably find them all a bit too "good" to be true. Nixon has a nice, easy style and manages to keep the pace up even when it seems that not much is happening. The interactions with the spirit world are strained, especially since the author discredits them in the end, and the villain is far too obvious from the first moment he walks on stage, but the story is an easy, light, not-too-scary read for those attracted to the genre.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440226857
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
04/28/1997
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
1,142,789
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 6.84(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
700L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

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