Chapter Books – School Spirit

Kat is resigned to the fact that she will probably never be the most popular girl in the seventh grade. But that doesn’t mean that she’s given up on NOT being a complete freak. This is made more difficult by the fact that her mother is a medium and spends a great deal of time talking to dead people. What’s even worse is that ever since her 13th birthday, Kat’s been seeing ghosts too…

When Kat and her new friend, the cello-toting Jac encounter supernatural dealings in the school library, Kat’s first impulse is to deny everything. But as she gradually comes to accept the fact that she is a spiritual medium, she becomes more and more involved in trying to figure out what it is the teenaged ghost wants from her.

This is the first in the Suddenly Supernatural series (although I can’t help but snark that after the first book there won’t be any “suddenly” about Kat’s supernatural dealings.) It has the feel of the first in an unending series. (I wish that there were better terminology for what constitutes a series. There are series like Harry Potter which have a clear beginning and ending, and then there are unending series like Nancy Drew where over the course of a million books the characters never age. And lets not forget things like the Chronicles of Narnia which is clearly a series even if the characters are different from book to book.)

There are a few places in the text where the verb tense in a single sentence will suddenly be in the present tense, making me wonder if the book had originally been written in that tense. If so I think the switch to past tense was probably a wise choice, since Kat undergoes a lot of changes that might have been difficult to convey in the sometimes claustrophobic feel of first person present tense narration.

The story is cute and I very much enjoyed reading it. I plan to read the next two books in the series in the next few days, which is a fairly high recommendation. That being said, the book was not perfect. Emphasis was placed on clues that were later completely dropped without explanation, and there were a few bits that might be confusing. As is often the case with children’s books the target audience is probably a bit younger than the middle school protagonist. Overall though, I found the book enjoyable and a fun read.

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