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School Spirits

School Spirits

4.3 63
by Rachel Hawkins

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Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy's older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy's mom decides they need to take a break.

Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it's not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been


Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy's older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy's mom decides they need to take a break.

Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it's not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who's always been on her own, it's strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.

Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt?

Rachel Hawkins's delightful spin-off brings the same wit and charm as the New York Times best-selling Hex Hall series. Get ready for more magic, mystery and romance!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
* "Ace plotting, snappy dialogue, unexpected twists, and an exhilarating finale will have readers eager for more."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

* "Hawkins dials the level of humor up to high throughout most of the book, with deftly phrased witticisms in both the narrative and her characters' dialogue. Her characterizations shine as original and funny, especially Dex and Torin, an Elizabethan-era warlock trapped for centuries in the Brannicks' mirror, who dispenses dubious advice."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


Opening Hex Hall was like opening a box of chocolates-no way could I exercise self-control! There was at least one laugh per page, a witty and self-depreciating protagonist, a.k.a. Sophie Mercer, and a murder mystery that had the pages turning themselves-either that, or one of Hex Hall's invisible Prodigium was to blame! Bottom line: Sophie Mercer has cast a spell on me!"—Becca Fitzpatrick, best-selling author of Hush, Hush


Complete with maniacal spirits and one heck (hex?) of a twist, will have readers anxiously awaiting the next installment."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books


* "One engaging, entertaining story. Once readers turn the first page, it is nearly impossible to put the book down."—VOYA (starred review)


Brisk pacing, sparkling romantic chemistry and genuine heartache will satisfy fans and attract new readers to the series."—Kirkus Reviews


Hawkins' entertaining debut is jam-packed with magical creatures and mystery."—Publishers Weekly"

In true Hawkins fashion, School Spirits combines romance, intrigue, and the paranormal with humor and high-school drama to produce a light read that bodes well for another Hawkins series, this time featuring the Brannicks."—Booklist


Sophie is a plucky heroine [and] the action is nonstop."—VOYA

Publishers Weekly
Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick comes from generations of monster hunters. Witches, vampires, faeries, werewolves—her forebears have dealt with them all, and mostly come out on top. But ever since Izzy’s older sister disappeared a year ago while confronting a coven of witches, Izzy and her mother have become the last of the Brannicks. Keeping up the family business, the two of them move to a small Mississippi town to investigate a simple haunting. Naturally, nothing is quite that easy: the vengeful ghost is unusually powerful, the cute new boy in town has a mysterious aura of power around him, and homeschooled Izzy needs to learn how to make friends and survive her first high school experience. A charming and zippy paranormal mystery, Hawkins’s self-contained spinoff from her Hex Hall series is built around a likeable bunch of characters including a heroine who is smart, kind, and resourceful, and a team of refreshingly non-stereotypical friends. Ace plotting, snappy dialogue, unexpected twists, and an exhilarating finale will have readers eager for more. Ages 12–18. Agent: Holly Root, Waxman Leavell Literary Agency. (May)
VOYA - Jan Chapman
A spin-off of the successful Hex Hall series, this book introduces us to fifteen-year-old Izzie, whose family has an unusual occupation—they hunt wayward magical creatures called the Prodigium. Trained by her mother, Izzie has become a fearless warrior against these renegades who have broken the rules of the Council. Now Izzie must go undercover as a regular high school student to track down a powerful ghost that is haunting the town. As she settles into her new job, Izzie finds that she really enjoys making new friends and just being a regular teen. There is also her growing romantic interest in Dex to make things even more confusing. But the job must come first and Izzie is determined to succeed. This is an exciting paranormal romance that provides a dynamic and riveting plot line that will keep readers eagerly turning pages. Hawkins also takes care to develop her main character fully, allowing us to feel Izzie's struggle between her desire to just be a normal teen and her need to fulfill a destiny she has not chosen. The romantic tension between Izzie and Dex is nicely done, with a minimum of gooey purple prose. The ending ties up a bit too neatly, but fans of paranormal romances and Hawkins' Hex Hall series will be thrilled with this new series. Reviewer: Jan Chapman
Children's Literature - Toni Jourdan
Isolde "Izzy" Brannick is part of the Brannick Family that has spent over a thousand years in the business of hunting down prodigiums. They slay vampires, they hunt werewolves, they banish witches. Izzy's older sister Finley has been missing for over a year since she tackled a coven of witches all alone. Izzy blames herself. She should have gone in with Finn, even though Finn told her it was okay if she stayed in the car reading a really great book. Since the disappearance, Izzy and her mom's relationship has been strained. They have never been a hugging type family but now it is all work. They travel the states searching out prodigium and when they hear of a haunting at a school they move to Ideal, Mississippi and enroll Izzy into Mary Evans High School. She has always been home "trained" so the ghost at this school is not the scariest thing that Izzy must face. What if you are used to having a crossbow and holy water in your backpack and now all you will be toting around is a binder and some pencils. Izzy meets Romy, Anderson and Dex, members of the Paranormal Management Society. Perhaps they can help her search out this angry ghost of Mary Evans and she can keep her secret life a secret. But Dex is charming and seems to have an energy around him that seems prodigium. High School keeps these ghost hunters busy as a science teacher is almost killed, a cheerleader finds a mangled Barbie in her locker and then there is the exploding team mascot, Hedgehog. Did I mention that Izzy has a four hundred year old warlock named Torin trapped in her home mirror? A fun ghost romp with characters that you wish you could hang out with. Izzy and Dex's relationship is quirky and you cannot help but want them to work out. I enjoyed every spooky moment. Reviewer: Toni Jourdan
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Since her older sister went missing nearly a year ago, 15-year-old Izzy and her mother are all that remain of the family. Endowed with extra strength and supernatural powers, the Brannicks have been ridding the world of evil creatures for thousands of years. Without her sister by her side, it's a lonely life for Izzy, who is still trying to prove to her mother that she is ready to handle the family business on her own. After a nearly disastrous run-in with a vampire, her mother decides to give her something easier to work on. They move to Mississippi, and the teen enrolls in the local high school where a rogue ghost has attempted to kill one of the teachers. Dealing with the ghost should be a simple task, but attending high school for the first time is a scary prospect for the homeschooled teen. She joins the school-sanctioned Paranormal Management Society and becomes friends with its members. She begins to fall in love with one of them and discovers that another member may be the reason she can't get the ghost under control. Always warned by her mother to go in, do the job, and get out, Izzy realizes that the relationships she's formed may be placing people's lives in jeopardy. It's impossible not to compare this book to Buffy the Vampire Slayer as it blends equal parts humor, drama, and romance-just like the popular TV series. Girls will eat this one up.—Cary Frostick, Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Izzy--short for Isolde--and her mother are the last in their centuries-old line of monster killers. Izzy's sister Finley disappeared while the sisters were dealing with a witches' coven, and Izzy has felt guilty about the incident ever since, holding herself responsible. Looking for a break, Izzy's mom moves them to Ideal, Miss., and sends Izzy to high school, an environment completely foreign to the girl, with the hope that she will be able to deal with a local ghost. Izzy makes actual friends there but learns that this ghost has far more power than usual, and she comes to suspect that one of her cherished new friends may have summoned it. Worse, she's attracted to Dex, but the boy gives off vibes that Izzy picks up as supernatural. She can't tell just what kind of being Dex might be, but she hopes she won't have to kill him. Hawkins dials the level of humor up to high throughout most of the book, with deftly phrased witticisms in both the narrative ("worry slithered through me") and her characters' dialogue ("I am affronted!" declares Dex). Her characterizations shine as original and funny, especially Dex and Torin, an Elizabethan-era warlock trapped for centuries in the Brannicks' mirror, who dispenses dubious advice. Finley still being missing, it's entirely possible this, itself a spinoff of the Hex Hall books, may become a series. Here's hoping the Brannicks will be back--their story's marvelous fun. (Paranormal comedy/suspense. 12 & up)

Product Details

Publication date:
A Hex Hall Novel Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Rachel Hawkins (readingwritingrachel.blogspot.com) is the New York Times best-selling author of Hex Hall, Demonglass, and Spell Bound. She was a high school English teacher before becoming a full-time writer. She lives with her family in Alabama. To the best of her knowledge, Rachel is not a witch, though some of her former students may disagree. . . .

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School Spirits 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 63 reviews.
Some_Reading_Required More than 1 year ago
Wow! I’m absolutely floored. Not that I expected to dislike School Spirits, I just had no idea I’d love it THIS much. I think I loved this book even more than Hex Hall. There. I said it. Having read the Hex Hall series first, definitely makes it easier for one to jump into this new spin-off series. Although you could read School Spirits and then Hex Hall as a prequel, I wouldn’t recommend it. There’s a lot of big spoilers and terms like “prodigium” that benefit from a lengthier description given in the prior books. Also, it feels as though Hawkins is expecting us to have read Hex Hall first. Isolde (Izzy), although not quite as sarcastically funny as Hex Hall‘s Sophie, is still highly enjoyable. She’s smart, innocent (teen girl way – not – won’t shank you in a dark alleyway way) and humble. Izzy has never really had that normal high school experience because she, like her mother, come from a long line of female monster hunters that travel a lot for cases. School Spirits felt like the melding of two of my favorite shows Buffy and Supernatural. You got the young high school girl trying to manage nightly slayings with nightly school work. Then you have the parent who drags their kid all over the states, hunting down supernatural creatures and never really establishing any lasting roots. There’s a couple of boys on Izzy’s mind in School Spirits. Some are studs – and cliche – others duds. From the start I immediately swooned over Dex. Seriously! Where was a “Dex” when I was in high school?!!! Hilarious, cute and marching to his own drum, Dex wasn’t afraid to be who he is, or whoever the hell he wanted to be. He was a total dork but in that adorkable way. I loved his and Izzy’s interactions. Although she constantly needed to question his motives, it was sweet watching Izzy and Dex gravitate towards one another. Sometimes in Hex Hall I got irritated because magic was an easy fix for things. I think part of the reason I enjoyed School Spirits so much was because of the old-school way Izzy had to handle the supernatural. It was physical and time-consuming. There was no *poof* all betters. What I love most about Hawkin’s books in general, is how easily you can jump into a story. With the exception of Spell Bound which had left me with mixed feelings, Hawkin’s books are always perfectly paced and full of action. They’re exploding with humor, budding romances, suspense and danger. I’m so excited for the books to come in this new series. School Spirits leaves off with a big mystery to be solved as well as an exciting new development to be played out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was a little upset that i wouldnt read about wat would happen to shopie and archer, and their love triangle, but then i started reading this and even tho im a little sad about losing shopie and archer, im lovin izzy and dex <3 and im very interested in were fin went? Is she alive? If so, were did the witches take her? And i love how izzy i takin this school to a whole world of crazy and unexplainable things. Love this book and the others, cant wait for new ones, love jaybird
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think there is supposed to be a 2 book to it but im not sure.i <3 it either way5/5 =P
Cassandra_Serenity More than 1 year ago
I liked the Hex Hall series, but I really love School Spirit. Izzy is an interesting and fun character because she knows so little about &quot;real life&quot; and we get to experience her own wonder and struggles with things we take for granted. Dex and Romy are two other characters who made me laugh, smile, and sometimes cringe. Favorite line: &quot;I have questions. They are legion.&quot;
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awsome book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is actualy a book I checked out of my school library out of boredom and didn't expect to love, but I did. Its got a realistic storyline and I would love to hear more about izzys life and find out what happens with her sister and especially with dex
Anonymous 7 months ago
Absolutely loved this book waiting for more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Going to be a sequel....?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was flipping awesome! Can't wait for the second one!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You people keep saying things about izzy i have not read the book yet wth happened to sophie and archer and finn this is madness these bookes are about sophie not izzy is sophie in any part of it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She runs a hand through her hair and starts drawing a guardian angel statue.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Paperback_Princess More than 1 year ago
This was a fabulous read. I was surprised to have gotten it in the mail, but I was super thrilled when it showed up on my door step. I have never read the Hex Hall series, but this still looked really interesting to me and like something I may want to try out. I've always been a big fan of supernatural books, and this was really hit it on the head. For starters, I loved that it stuck with the covers like the original book series &quot;Hex Hall&quot; Nothing aggravates me more than when book series changes around the covers. But I digress. I suppose the biggest reason that this book scored a little lower than it would have was that I felt the entire book was written in cliche's. One of the things that stuck with me when I took a creative writing class was how you need to avoid cliche's, once in a while its okay, but every other paragraph had some kind of cliche. It was really irritating. I really loved the characters that we were introduced to including Romy, Anderson and Dex. I sort of wish that Izzy had opened up to them earlier and talk to them about what was happening in the school. I really liked Izzy although she seemed to have no idea what was happening in the world around her outside of the magic. I wish that her mother had stopped being so cagey about everything. What she was doing about Finn being missing, her different activities, all of it she was so cagey about and I feel that when its just you and one of your daughters, you can't afford to keep things from each other. Especially when one of them has already gone missing. I think the same also goes from Izzy to her mother even though she was a lot more up front about some of her problems. I liked the whole ghosty problem that they had, it was a typical haunting but its own in a few ways. Then again, doing a ghost story isn't terribly hard, but making it special and creepy is important. I liked that this book wasn't so much with the creepy as it was with just being thrilling. I was on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was going to happen next. It was a terrifically fast read, and clearly there is more to come which I can't wait for. In the mean time, maybe I'll hit up the Hex Hall Series. (But probably not because as it stands, I have 200 unread books without adding new ones.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the book a lot. As a mom the plot was very predictable, but appropriate for a young teen reader. My 5 kids loved the book and can't wait to pre-order the next in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im full lezz go back ....Grabs a pate and collects som meat off of cassi ok lez go
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can i join?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Next res
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thanks lovely:3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walked away, a small tear running down her cheek.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
reececo331 More than 1 year ago
They thought they were getting a break, far from it... how can you act normal when you know everything is wrong. after the loss of her sister, and her fatal move to the new city, she thought life would change, things were not as they seem. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish it was as exciting as the hex hall novels. Its like we get to see a whole side of izzy and thats cool but i must say its not as good as hex hall and yes dex and her are cool but still doesnt really stand out as much as archer and soph. I must say Torin has made me laugh which made me keep reading but the way it ends doesnt really scream omg i cant wait for more like her other books. I think she could of wrote a book explaining finn then this... and i feel like she got the dairee kween from the beautiful creaturrs series