Book By Book
My very last creepy read for the fall was a middle-grade novel, Follow Me by K.R. Alexander, that I listened to on audio. It was a spooky ghost story, and the perfect way to finish the dark reading season!
Tamal has just moved into a big house on a hill overlooking a small mill town. He and his parents moved from NYC and are happy to have more room and a quieter place to live. The house comes with rumors of ghosts, but don’t all old houses? Anyway, Tamal’s father loves those “ghost catching” shows on TV and thinks it is all good fun. Tamal’s two new friends from school, Max and Lela, are eager to come to his house. During dinner, they fill Tamal and his parents in on all the spooky stories they’ve heard about the house: that the wealthy mill owner built the house on top of the town graveyard, that ghosts of children haunt the house, and more. His dad loves hearing the stories, but before they’ve even unpacked, Tamal sees a ghost: a little girl dressed in old-fashioned clothes, holding a teddy bear. Paranormal events quickly ramp up, as Tamal digs into the house’s history, searches the house and the graveyard, and tries to keep his two new friends safe (and himself, too).
The tension increases quickly, as Tamal learns more of the house’s history and encounters more ghostly apparitions. The story is suspenseful and delightfully creepy. My one problem was with the audio production. They chose an adult narrator (I think perhaps because his accent matched what they were looking for for Tamal) whose overdone little kid voices were like nails on a chalkboard to me. Maybe that’s just me, but you can listen to the audio sample and make up your own mind. I still listened all the way through because the story was compelling, but personally, in this case I’d go for the print book. It’s a wonderfully spooky ghost story, not for ‘fraidy cat kids but perfect for middle-graders who enjoy a little scary stuff. It looks like the author has written a bunch of paranormal ghost stories, so if you have horror-loving kids who like to get spooked, check him out.
224 pages, Scholastic
Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. My review is my own opinion and is not influenced by my relationship with the publisher or author.
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Listen to a sample of the audiobook here and/or download it from Audible.
You can purchase Follow Me from an independent bookstore, either locally or online, here:
You can also buy through indie bookstores using Bookshop.
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