In her first middle-grade novel, DeStefano (the Internment Chronicles) explores the connection between the human and spirit worlds. Since birth, Pram has been able to communicate with ghosts—her mother hanged herself while pregnant with Pram, and doctors barely saved Pram’s life. Shielded from the truth about her mother’s death by her caretaker aunts, 11-year-old Pram spends most of her time with books and her protective ghost friend, Felix, until she meets Clarence, a classmate at the school Pram starts attending. They bond over their motherlessness and set out to find Pram’s father—a sailor who may not know she exists—and the spirit of Clarence’s mother. Lady Savant, a spiritualist, promises to help them, but her true intentions endanger the living and the dead. DeStefano creates a beguiling world through haunting images and descriptions (of spirits, she writes, “There was a certain energy they carried, an urgency to be somewhere that no longer existed, or to do something that could no longer be done”). An eerie, moving story about “that murky place between this world and the one that comes after it.” Ages 8–12. Agent: Barbara Poelle, Irene Goodman Agency. (Sept.)
From New York Times bestselling author Lauren DeStefano comes a delightful tale of a girl who can talk to ghosts that’s perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman and Holly Black.
Pram Bellamy is specialshe can talk to ghosts. She doesn't have too many friends amongst the living, but that's all right. She has her books, she has her aunts, and she has her best friend, the ghostly Felix.
Then Pram meets Clarence, a boy from school who has also lost a parent and is looking for answers. Together they arrive at the door of the mysterious Lady Savant, who promises to help. But this spiritualist knows the true nature of Pram's power, and what she has planned is more terrifying than any ghost.
New York Times bestselling author Lauren DeStefano is beloved by critics and readers alike, and her middle grade debut is lyrical, evocative and not to be missed.
Readers will be hooked from the first line of this lyrical and suspenseful mystery/fantasy (part thriller too) of a brave and compassionate girl. . . . DeStefano artfully concocts a moving and multilayered tale that is an effective mix of genres and tones, at times contemplative and philosophical yet also macabre and psychologically sophisticated. Love, loss, and hope are at the heart of this exciting read.” Kirkus Reviews
“The perfect book to hand to readers looking for the mysterious and spooky.” Booklist
“DeStefano creates a beguiling world through haunting images and descriptions. . . An eerie, moving story about 'that murky place between this world and the one that comes after it.'” Publishers Weekly
“Startlingly dark. . . Sophisticated readers will appreciate the vivid characters with rich internal lives. Readers who enjoyed A.J. Paquette's Rules for Ghosting and Grave Images by Jenny Goebel will want to give this title a try.” School Library Journal
“The voice of this dark but often funny novel is as pragmatic as Pram, matter-of-factly acknowledging truths its characters need to know, even when those truths are unpleasant. . . Fans of Holly Black's Doll Bones may well enjoy this creepy, character-based tale.” The Horn Book
“A harrowing debut. . . . DeStefano has an observant eye.” Publishers Weekly on WITHER
“A concoction of tension and love with a cliff-hanger ending.” School Library Journal on PERFECT RUIN: THE INTERNMENT CHRONICLES BOOK 1
“DeStefano has created a perfect stormintertwining plot, characters, and setting beautifully. . . . This is a page-turner, and waiting for the next book will be hard, hard, hard.” Booklist on PERFECT RUIN: THE INTERNMENT CHRONICLES BOOK 1
Eleven-year-old Pram, bookish and imaginative, befriends ghosts (most importantly Felix, her protective best friend) and also a living boy at school, Clarence, who "sought out the shadows the way that she did," and together they embark on what turns out to be a perilous quest. Readers will be hooked from the first line of this lyrical and suspenseful mystery/fantasy (part thriller too) of a brave and compassionate girl who is "tethered to that murky place between this world and the one that comes after it." Pram and Clarence bond over a shared sense of loss. Pram was told her mother died in childbirth and longs to find her father, a sailor, to figure out where she really belongs. She lives with her two very practical aunts who run the Halfway to Heaven Home for the Ageing. Clarence is searching for his mother's spirit; she died in a car accident, and he's spent "nearly a year in the grayness of grief," and so they go to see Lady Savant, a spiritualist with devious ulterior motives whose powers far surpass anything they could have imagined. In her first work for middle-grade readers, DeStefano artfully concocts a moving and multilayered tale that is an effective mix of genres and tones, at times contemplative and philosophical yet also macabre and psychologically sophisticated. Love, loss, and hope are at the heart of this exciting read. (author's note) (Mystery/fantasy. 9-12)