Riddance: Or; The Sybil Joines Vocational School for Ghost Speakers & Hearing-Mouth Children

illus. by Zachary Thomas Dodson. 512p. Black Balloon. Oct. 2018. Tr $28. ISBN 9781936787999.
Jane Grandison is tormented by her schoolmates and family members because of her stutter—that is, until she is invited to live and study at the Sybil Joines Vocational School for Ghost Speakers and Hearing-Mouth Children. The headmistress, Sybil Joines, seeks to cure students' speech issues. She believes the dead can communicate through these students [is this ableism ever addressed? ]. This 1919 gothic tale is told from the alternating points of view of Sybil and Jane, the student-turned-stenographer. Accompanying pictures, diagrams, notes, and letters support the plot. Jackson's writing transports readers, allowing them to look past the morbidity of death and consider the other possibilities of the land of the dead.
VERDICT A historical horror murder mystery that is both unexpected and imaginative; purchase where there are fans of creepy stories such as "Miss Peregrine's" books by Ransom Riggs.

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