The Haunted Library

illus. by Aurore Damant. 128p. (The Haunted Library: Bk. 1). Grosset & Dunlap. 2014. pap. $4.99. ISBN 9780448462424; Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780448462431.
Gr 2–4—Nine-year-old Kaz is an awkward ghost, who is unprepared for life, or rather, death. His family of apparitions has taught him many of the basics. He can float and shrink, yet he hasn't mastered passing through walls or existing among humans, or as Kaz calls them, "solids." Without warning, his family's abandoned old "haunt" is demolished. Separated from his family by violent winds, he ends up in a small town public library. A ghost presumably haunts this library, and Kaz desperately hopes that the being is his missing brother, Finn. He finds a friend in Claire, a "solid" girl whose grandmother owns the library. Kaz and Claire work together to uncover this mystery. This lighthearted tale is the first of a book series. Ideal for early readers, the text is amusing and accessible, and the cartoon-style artwork is winsome. The modern-day setting makes the tale relatable. However, those expecting a more captivating mystery will be unsatisfied with the story's simplistic resolution. While the pacing is fine, there isn't much character development and there are gaps in logic. Ghosts are deceased beings, but Kaz is completely ignorant of human behavior. Yet for young ones seeking a welcoming introduction to the supernatural, this is an acceptable, kid-friendly read.—Sada Mozer, Los Angeles Public Library
In this series-starter, demolition on their abandoned schoolhouse separates young ghost Kaz from his family. He's blown away to a small library in Iowa, where he and a living girl named Claire team up to solve mysteries. The not-too-scary ghost story's friendly cartoon illustrations and engaging mystery are perfect for young readers who are trying chapter books for the first time.

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