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Publisher's Summary

Belladonna Johnson can see ghosts. It’s a trait she’s inherited from her mother’s side of the family, like blue eyes or straight hair. And it’s a trait she could do without, because what 12-year-old wants to be caught talking to someone invisible? It is convenient, though, after Belladonna’s parents are killed in a car accident. They can live with her the same as always, watching the same old TV shows in their same old house. Nothing has changed...until everything changes.

One night, with no warning, they vanish into thin air—along with every other ghost in the world. It’s what some people think ghosts are supposed to do, but Belladonna knows it’s all wrong. They may not be living, but they’re not supposed to be gone.

With the help of her classmate Steve, a master of sneaking and spying, Belladonna is left to uncover what’s become of the spirits and to navigate a whole world her parents have kept well-hidden. If she can’t find her way, she’ll lose them again—this time for good.

©2010 Helen Stringer (P)2010 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"Magical creatures, amulets, and verses are all a part of this delightful tale that leads Belladonna and Steve on a deadly adventure. Stringer maintains the humor and logic of preteens who are awkwardly coming into their magical destinies, which makes for an amusing first novel." (School Library Journal)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Simply brilliant!

This novel is a significant cut above the otherwise tiring "young adult magic" genre. I am utterly amazed at how well crafted the story and characters are. What's more, the author's reading is a joy unto itself. I simply can't wait for the sequel.

It's quieter and more thoughtful than Harry Potter but no less layered and thrilling a world. If you enjoyed Madeleine L'Engle's epic, you will love this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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spectacular writing

It was a great book with good writing. I have read it a couple of times.

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    5 out of 5 stars

what a great, original story.

I really enjoyed this reading of the book by the author, Helen Stringer. I have read the book, and have shared the book with my kids where enjoyed it as well. Hearing the author read it added another dimension to the enjoyment. looking forward to Midnight Gate!