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by Shelly Brown


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“Part Ghostbusters, part Sherlock Holmes, all fun and excitement.” —J. Scott Savage, author of the Case File 13 series and Mysteries of Cove series

Tiffany Hart dreams of one thing: to be class president. 

However, dreams turn to nightmares when she ends up almost dead in an abandoned building and develops the oh-so-awful gift of ghost-seeing. Unfortunately, Tiffany only knows one person who can help her shake her ghoulish problem, her neighbor and the weirdest boy at school, Justin Henderson.

 Justin has seen ghosts since he was nine, a creepy claim that has earned him the privilege of eating lunch by himself for years. Together they start to unravel a mystery with dead orphans, a white witch, and phantom spiders. To save their lives (and the afterlives of innocent children), they must face a terrifying specter as well as a ghastly woman who isn't afraid of hurting kids, dead or alive. Can Tiffany win the school election and solve her ghost problems?

“Ghostsitter is one of those rare books that succeeds at being both hilarious and freaky! Like a phantom spider, it snuck up on me and left me genuinely creeped out.” —Frank L. Cole, author of The Afterlife Academy

“I’ve never read a ghost story I’ve loved more than Ghostsitter . . . [It] is the kind of book that will make kids want to read with a flashlight under the covers long after they should be sleeping.” —Peggy Eddleman, author of the Sky Jumpers series

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781944452001
Publisher: Future House
Publication date: 10/01/2016
Pages: 262
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Unlike Tiffany and Justin, Shelly Brown hasn’t seen any ghosts. But she has seen lots of movies, traveled to different countries, read hundreds of books, acted in oodles of plays, and made thousands of friends.She has worked as a comedian, a tour guide, and a shake-
maker, but is currently a substitute teacher for some of the coolest kids ever. In her spare time she helps her husband, author Chad Morris, write awesome children’s books. Shelly also loves a little spooky in her life. When she was twelve-years-old, she kept her Friday nights open to
watch the newest X-Files episode. Every Friday. With the lights off to make it extra creepy. Now she’s married and has five kids and three chickens. And occasionally, she jumps out and scares them. Well, not the chickens.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
Dying for a Slurpee

We were so far away from civilization that howling banshees with machine guns could’ve murdered us and nobody would’ve heard a thing.
Letting Kori Henderson drive me anywhere was mistake enough. That girl’s braids were done so tight it messed with her brain. Letting her drive me to a spot of serious paranormal activity was pure stupidity.
I blamed Justin.
That nutcase was the reason I was in that junky minivan, bouncing down a country road in the middle of the night. Sure it was his sister, Kori, who invited all of us twelve-year-olds to join her friends on that spook hunt, and, yes, it was my best friend, Jessica, who actually convinced me to get in the van, but Justin Henderson was always behind all supernatural weirdness. He couldn’t help it.
Resting my forehead on the cool window, I searched the moonlit hill for shadows behind the scrub trees. The hair on my arms stood on end just thinking about some old man with a bucket and a gun that Justin described as a local ghost legend.
How did I let Jessica bribe me with a Slurpee? No amount of sugar could compensate for the way that fear was digging tiny holes in my stomach.
I couldn’t even watch Scooby Doo by myself.
“First one’s here!” Kori said, whipping the car off to the side of the road. We all snapped forward as she hit the brakes. She gave a hoot then hopped out into the darkness. I wasn’t surprised that she would rather roam in the murderers’ realm—a.k.a. deserted roads at nighttime—than stay in a car with four twelve-year-olds. She had obviously only invited us so that Justin would have people to hang out with.
Jessica clapped her hands like a giddy toddler then crawled over me. She slid the door open and the outside air whooshed in. Scents like dirt and pine were lovely during the day, but they smelled like a horror film at night.
Jessica reached back in the car and pulled on my arm. “Let’s explore.”
The boys, Justin and Mario, slipped past her and milled about. I eyed the darkness outside, saw the tree branches faintly outlined by the sky. Then I studied the inside of the very empty car. Finally I let her drag me out because, shoot, staying by myself sounded way too freaky.
Clinging to Jessica’s arm, I crunched through the yellow September grass, keeping a lookout for the bucket dude. The moon lit up the open field, but the tiny groves of trees and shrubs could have been hiding terrible things like wolves or wildcats or blow-dart assassins. I could feel the pulse in my neck, and my eyes refused to blink. Broken, crooked branches littered the ground like the arms of the dead pulling themselves from beneath the earth. The wind picked up, giving a shrill whistle and shaking the trees.
A large bird, probably some nocturnal predator looking for an unsuspecting snack, flew out of a tree and swooped by us, making even Jessica jump. Everyone laughed but me. I wasn’t crazy-bread with a side of crazy-sauce like the others. Nope. Scary birds were just that.
Maybe staying alone in the car wouldn’t have been so bad.
Mario stopped walking and adjusted the band that held his long wavy hair. His hair always reminded me of a professional soccer player’s or a Twilight werewolf’s. In elementary school the kids teased him for looking like a girl but now the entire female population of our junior high was in love with his long locks. Well, not me, or Jessica. We weren’t that easily tempted by long thick hair, dimples, and a winking habit. At least not on Mario.
All of us had lived our whole lives on Shannondale Drive, which meant that we all knew that Jessica dragged around a Woobee blanket until she was eight, Mario had an embarrassingly huge crush on Kori, Justin used to pee on the trees at the park, and I was too afraid to spend the night at anybody’s house. But what happened on Shannondale Drive never made it back to school. It was just for us.
Mario poked Justin. “So give us the tour, Casper.” I hated that everyone called him that, but Justin didn’t seem to care so I never said anything.
Justin folded his arm. They were huge compared to most seventh graders, but twiggy compared to his dad’s arms. Becoming a linebacker was his destiny but his dad wasn’t around to teach him how to play so instead Justin read Space War’s books and Paranormal Truth magazines.
He gave a crooked smile, his bright white teeth shining on his dark face.
I shivered.
That creepy kid was completely in his element.
He dug his hands into his pockets as the wind kicked up again. The smell of his nasty woodsy laundry detergent blew past my nose. It was like someone had lit a forest of car freshener trees on fire. “So this is Gravity Hill. The idea is that if you let your car sit somewhere over there—” he pulled a hand out and vaguely motioned to the road, “it will roll uphill all by itself.”
He pointed to where the road was swallowed up in the black horizon. A car-full of loud teenagers pulled up behind the Henderson’s van and Kori ran over to them.
“Is that all?” Mario asked. “What about the ghost with the bucket?”
I turned, expecting Justin to finish the story but he was looking around him like he lost something. Suddenly he jolted like he had been tasered, his head turning quickly to the right. We all followed his distant gaze. Grass. Trees in the distance. But no buckets.
“Justin?” Mario asked, waiting for a response.
Justin was completely preoccupied. And possibly deaf.
Mono loco.” Jessica shook her head. “I’ll take it from here. Mario, the caretaker with the bucket and rifle isn’t on Gravity Hill.”
That was the most beautiful thing I had heard all night.
She lowered her voice to a ghost-story-telling whisper. “Here’s what happened. In 1955 there was a bus of elementary school kids heading back from a fieldtrip. The driver had a stroke just as they went around that curve.” She pointed at a bend in the road. “He was completely out cold. It had been raining really hard that week, the roads were muddy, and the creek bed was overflowing. Driverless, the bus slid off the road and overturned into the water. Every child was trapped, submerged in water. No survivors.”
The trees rustled while we all let that sink in.
Mario tightened his arms across his chest. “So they died?”
Todos. Every one of them,” Jessica said. “My tia told me that the ghost children push the cars uphill, away from the accident—”
“Ghost children? Ghost children!” I flailed my arms free from her side. “Those have to be the scariest two words I’ve ever heard. Here?”
They laughed but I was undeterred. “Cut it out! You know what word I want somebody to use? Science. Somebody please explain to me how the cars move up the hill using science.”
Jessica shook her head. “But it defies science.”
“Well I defy ghost stories!” The words flew out of my mouth before I could even make any sense out of them.
Mario belly laughed and put a hand on my back. “Chill, Tiff. You’re probably right. I’m sure it’s all a trick. My dad says it’s just an optical illusion. Purely science.”
Another couple of cars pulled up and more teens jumped out, hollering and laughing. Hopefully that was everybody, and we would be able to put it all behind us sooner rather than later.
“Ow!” Justin crouched down and rubbed his shin.
Growing pains, I guessed. I got those sometimes. But then he gave a dirty look to nobody and started swatting at invisible nothings. He lost his balance and ended up on all fours.
He was so bizarre. Justin’s behavior had been weird for years but we hadn’t seen an outburst like that one for a long time. The reoccurrence of Justin’s extreme funkiness had us all mesmerized.
Again, I had to ask myself, what was I doing there?
I had goals and ambitions in life and none of them involved exploring the midnight haunting grounds of dead children, lost lovers, or an old ghost grandpa with a bucket and a gun.
My goals were, in no particular order:
First: make seventh grade the most awesome school year I (or anyone else) had ever had.
Second: (related but important enough to get its own bullet point) become class president. Jessica had nominated me and the only person running against me was lurpy Kevin Sendheim. Basically I had this election in the bag, but I wasn’t stupid enough to let my guard down. There was automatic popularity if I could win the election, but losing to Sendheim would be social suicide.
Third: Convince Brett Lovell that he super wanted to be my boyfriend. This one was tricky since I was too young to have an actual boyfriend, at least according to my dad. But if I could convince Brett that he wanted to be my boyfriend, then when I was old enough (I was trying to convince my dad to lower from twenty-three to fourteen) we could be the most rocking couple at Antioch Junior High.
No ghost kids. No creepy bus stories. Just having fun, being seventh grade class president, and making Brett Lovell the love of my life.

Table of Contents


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Chapter 1 - Dying for a Slurpee,
Chapter 2 - Gravity Hill,
Chapter 3 - The Living and the Dead,
Chapter 4 - The White Witch of Black Diamond,
Chapter 5 - The Scream,
Chapter 6 - Five Hundred Pounds of Squirming Bugs,
Chapter 7 - The Fingers Attached to the Prints,
Chapter 8 - A Man of Words,
Chapter 9 - The Witch of Blackbird Pond,
Chapter 10 - Food Poisoning,
Chapter 11 - The Good, the Bad, and the Freaky,
Chapter 12 - You Smell Like Strawberry Shortcake,
Chapter 13 - Even the Dead Need To Sleep,
Chapter 14 - More Running,
Chapter 15 - Busted (Again),
Chapter 16 - Smurf Film,
Chapter 17 - Speaking with the Dead,
Chapter 18 - The Creepy Dude,
Chapter 19 - Speeches,
Chapter 20 - Old Mines Cemetery,
Chapter 21 - The Stuff of Horror Films,
Chapter 22 - Night of the New Moon,
Chapter 23 - Election Day,
Chapter 24 - The Results,
Chapter 25 - The Baby's Name,
Chapter 26 - Disappeared,
Chapter 27 - When Justin Died,
Chapter 28 - Kissing Research,
Chapter 29 - Meanwhile Back at the Hacienda,
Chapter 30 - The Long Wispy Trail,
Chapter 31 - Murder Most Foul,
Chapter 32 - Murder Most Foul,
Chapter 33 - Digging for Bones,
Chapter 34 - The Orphan Brat,
Chapter 35 - Two Bums in a Swing,
Chapter 36 - The Plan: The Embarrassing Part,
Chapter 37 - The Plan: The Wet Part,
Chapter 38 - The Plan: The Dry Part,
Chapter 39 - The Plan: The Part that Didn't Work,
Chapter 40 - Not in the Plan,
Chapter 41 - Following the White Witch,
Chapter 42 - What in the Heck is Going on Here?,
Chapter 43 - Karma,
Chapter 44 - One More Good-Bye,
Before You Go,
Never Miss a Future House Book Release,
About the Author,

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