Scritch scratch

Scritch Scratch

This spooky novel follows Claire, an interested-in-science-doesn’t-believe-in-the-paranormal-thank-you-very-much middle schooler who has a pretty typical life. She doesn’t always get along with her brother and her friend group is having some growing pains since her best friend is now hanging out with a new girl. Her parents would be normal if it wasn’t for her dad’s job which is a tour guide for a Chicago Ghost bus touring company. Claire can usually ignore that, but one night she gets pulled into helping her dad on the tour and a ghost follows her home, haunting her. Claire has to figure out what the ghost wants, and quickly, before it gets angrier.

This story seamlessly blends Chicago history, an intense ghostly mystery, and a story of friendship and family into one fantastic book that you won’t be able to put down! Even better, the ghost story here is based on a true event - the 1915 Eastland Disaster. The steamship, the Eastland, capsized with a loss of nearly 850 lives on the Chicago river making it deadlier than even the Titanic.

This book gave me serious chills and anyone looking for some middle grade spooks should look no further! Fans of Lockwood & Co. by Jonathan Stroud, The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier, or The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez by Adrianna Cuevas will find something to like in this story.

Reviewed by Ginny H.