The Haunted Library
The Haunted Library

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Series: The Haunted Library Vol. 1   

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Annotation: When his haunt is torn down and he is separated from his ghost family, Kaz befriends human Claire, who has the ability to see ghosts, and helps her investigate a haunting at the local library.
Catalog Number: #104522
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition Date: 2014
Illustrator: Damant, Aurore,
Pages: 126 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-448-46242-7 Perma-Bound: 0-605-88752-7
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-448-46242-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-88752-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2014947287
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
In this series-starter, demolition on their abandoned schoolhouse separates young ghost Kaz from his family. He's blown away to a small library in Iowa, where he and a living girl named Claire team up to solve mysteries. The not-too-scary ghost story's friendly cartoon illustrations and engaging mystery are perfect for young readers who are trying chapter books for the first time.
School Library Journal
Gr 2&11;4&12; Nine-year-old Kaz is an awkward ghost, who is unprepared for life, or rather, death. His family of apparitions has taught him many of the basics. He can float and shrink, yet he hasn't mastered passing through walls or existing among humans, or as Kaz calls them, "solids." Without warning, his family's abandoned old "haunt" is demolished. Separated from his family by violent winds, he ends up in a small town public library. A ghost presumably haunts this library, and Kaz desperately hopes that the being is his missing brother, Finn. He finds a friend in Claire, a "solid" girl whose grandmother owns the library. Kaz and Claire work together to uncover this mystery. This lighthearted tale is the first of a book series. Ideal for early readers, the text is amusing and accessible, and the cartoon-style artwork is winsome. The modern-day setting makes the tale relatable. However, those expecting a more captivating mystery will be unsatisfied with the story's simplistic resolution. While the pacing is fine, there isn't much character development and there are gaps in logic. Ghosts are deceased beings, but Kaz is completely ignorant of human behavior. Yet for young ones seeking a welcoming introduction to the supernatural, this is an acceptable, kid-friendly read.&12; Sada Mozer, Los Angeles Public Library
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Horn Book (4/1/15)
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (10/1/14)
Word Count: 11,730
Reading Level: 3.6
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.6 / points: 2.0 / quiz: 168838 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.1 / points:5.0 / quiz:Q64760
Lexile: 520L
Guided Reading Level: M

Kaz floated nervously back and forth in front of the dusty classroom wall.

His whole family was watching him. Mom. Pops. Little John. Even Cosmo, the family dog. They were all watching . . . waiting . . . and wondering: Would he do it this time?

Kaz swam back away from the wall. “I don’t want to,” he said in a small voice.

Everyone groaned.

“Come on, son,” said Pops. “There’s nothing to be afraid of. All you have to do is take a deep breath and slide on through. Like this.” Pops stuck his foot through the wall first. Then his whole leg . . . his arm . . . and finally the rest of his body.

Poof! Pops was gone.

“Woof! Woof!” barked Cosmo. The dog’s tail swished from side to side as he dashed through the wall after Pops.

“Passing through is easy, Kaz,” Little John said. “Watch!”

Kaz watched his little brother turn cartwheels through the wall. Little John was only six. He had already mastered most of the basic ghost skills. He could glow, wail, shrink, expand, and pass through walls.

Kaz was nine. He could shrink and he could expand. But he couldn’t glow, he couldn’t wail, and he didn’t like to pass through walls. He had tried it once. It made him feel skizzy.

Cosmo poked his head back through the wall. He barked twice at Kaz, then disappeared again.

“I think Cosmo is saying, ‘Follow me, Kaz. Follow me!’” Mom said in a pretend doggy voice.

Kaz moaned.

Mom reached for Kaz’s hand and led him toward the wall. “Let’s try it together.”

A solid mouse skittered into a hole in the floorboard. A solid spider danced across her web in front of the window.

“Here we go,” Mom said. “One . . . two . . . three!” She passed through the wall.

Kaz yanked his hand out of Mom’s grasp. He couldn’t do it. He just couldn’t!

Instead, he swam over to the door, sucked his body in, and shrunk down, down, down . . . until he was no larger than that old book in the corner and no thicker than one of the pages inside. Then he dived down and slid under the door. Blowing dust mites out of his way, he swam along the hallway and into the next classroom, where his family waited.

Little John groaned as Kaz expanded to his normal size and shape.

Mom and Pops shook their heads sadly.

“You’ll never survive in the Outside if you don’t learn your basic ghost skills,” warned Pops.

“We worry about you, Kaz,” Mom said, putting her arm around him. “There are solids in the Outside. You need ghost skills to protect yourself from solids.”

There was also WIND in the Outside. Wind that could pick up a ghost and blow him away forever.

“I’m never going to leave this old schoolhouse,” Kaz told his family. “And the solids hardly ever come in here, so I don’t really need ghost skills.” Kaz had never been outside his haunt before, but he was way more afraid of wind than he was of solids.

“Sometimes things happen that we don’t expect,” Mom said. “Don’t you remember what happened to Finn?” Finn was Kaz’s big brother.

“And your grandparents?” Pops added.

How could Kaz forget?

Finn, Kaz, and Little John had been playing Keep Away one day last spring. Finn often pushed his arm or leg through the wall to the Outside because he liked to hear Kaz and Little John squeal. But that day he stuck his head a little too far through the wall . . . and the wind pulled him all the way into the Outside.

Excerpted from The Haunted Library #1 by Dori Hillestad Butler
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

A brand-new young chapter book series from Edgar Award winner Dori Hillestad Butler!

When ghost boy Kaz’s haunt is torn down and he is separated from his ghost family, he meets a real girl named Claire, who lives above the town library with her parents and her grandmother. Claire has a special ability to see ghosts when other humans cannot and she and Kaz quickly form a friendship. The two join forces to solve the mystery of the ghost that’s haunting the library. Could it be one of Kaz’s lost family members?

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