Spirit Hunters
Spirit Hunters

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Series: Spirit Hunters Vol. 1   

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Annotation: Feeling uncomfortable from the moment she arrives in her new home, Harper is dismayed by local rumors that her house is haunted and that every family that has ever lived there has suffered terrible tragedies, a situation that turns sinister when her cheerful little brother begins acting in alarming ways.
Catalog Number: #154621
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 276 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-243009-2 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-0392-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-243009-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-0392-5
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2016961854
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
A neophyte Korean shaman, or "mudang," takes center stage in this chilling thriller by Oh, of We Need Diverse Books.The story starts when mixed-race 12-year-old Harper Raine, who is half white and half Korean, moves into a new home in Washington, D.C., that her new Jamaican friend, Dayo, tells her is haunted. Before the Raines left New York City, Harper survived both a fire and a traumatizing illness, but she has blocked all memories of these events. The creepiness ramps up in mind, gut, and heart as readers see Harper's little brother making a new "friend" in their home. As she witnesses an evil spirit slowly overtaking her brother, Harper's memories begin to resurface. While Harper selflessly tries to save her brother's life from multiple evils, she juggles the psychological conflict of her mother's broken relationship with Harper's beloved Korean grandmother, who lives nearby. The tension of the life-ending danger stretches across sometimes confusingly paced chapters, as help arrives slowly. While the writing level skews young, the graphic content is gruesome. Readers will not want harm to come to the likable Raine family. The well-rounded and diverse cast provides interesting cultural touchstones of Korean and Jamaican heritage throughout the novel. Korean shamanism, specifically, is explored with respect and curiosity. Combining Korean-American experience with ancient cultural traditions for a new twist on exorcism, this tale's for beginning horror fans and readers looking for a decent scare. (Horror. 10-14)
Publishers Weekly
Harper Raine, 12, feels unsettled in her family-s new house in Washington, D.C.-especially in her four-year-old brother Michael-s oddly cold room. Michael-s new imaginary friend, Billy, seems harmless at first, but when Michael starts acting strange and lashing out violently, Harper begins to reconsider the rumors of the house being haunted. With the help of a newfound friend, Dayo, Harper explores the house-s troubled history and delves into her own past, questioning her missing memories about a school fire and an accident that left her with multiple broken bones. Occasional entries from Harper-s -Stupid D.C. Journal- provide insight into her feelings about the move, the creepy goings-on, and her resurfacing memories. Her estranged Korean grandmother, who lives nearby, grounds the supernatural aspects of the story in family and tradition, and the mysterious events that led to Harper-s accident and the family-s move are skillfully employed, offering an engaging reprieve from the eerie events in Harper-s house. Oh has crafted a truly chilling middle grade horror novel that will grab readers- imaginations. Ages 8-12. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (July)
School Library Journal
Gr 46Harper Raine suffered through a series of accidents but has no memory of them. She and her family have just moved to Washington, DC, but this is no fresh start: Harper begins hearing rumors that their new home is haunted. Is that why her little brother Michael is acting so strangely? The mysteries build into a truly frightening thriller, with some brutal scenes that may scare more sensitive readers not familiar with horror tropes. A spirit attacks Harper by throwing her down the stairs and stabbing her with a toy truck. In a memorable scene, the walls pulse with dark liquid and a ghost presents himself as a rotting corpse. The straightforward, direct language tempers the drama, though it occasionally results in stilted dialogue. For instance, Harper's new friend Dayo invites her to eat "jerk chicken with rice and callaloo, which are delicious Jamaican stewed greens." Dayo's Jamaican background and Harper's Korean culture aren't the main subjects of the story, but they add depth. Harper's pride in her grandmother's Korean traditions helps her defeat the house's evil spirit, and she learns that racial divisions can exist even after death: the white ghosts in a segregated graveyard don't trust a ghost who is buried in the neighboring African American graveyard. VERDICT This mystery thriller infused with diverse characters and intriguing themes will appeal to horror fans and to reluctant readers who enjoy a good scare.Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Harper feels it from the second her family moves into the creaky, old house: there is something deeply evil lurking there. She's always been attune to the spirit world, a fact that has frightened her parents into denial. She even had an encounter with a ghost so terrifying and damaging that she was sent to a mental institution for a while. This relocation to D.C. was supposed to be a fresh start for their family, but Harper soon realizes with horror that her sweet little brother Michael is being possessed by the malevolent ghost of an evil boy who died in the house years before. As Michael grows more and more violent under the spirit's control, Harper realizes that her family is in grave danger. Can she learn to master her powers and conquer her fears to defeat the spirit before it overtakes her brother completely? Oh's book is truly and deeply creepy, with increasingly haunting and disturbing imagery culminating in a wonderful and terrifying battle of spirits. Even more impressive than the shiver factor is the way the author skillfully uses the compelling premise to present a strong, consistent message of not rejecting what you don't understand most welcome message.
Word Count: 49,562
Reading Level: 4.7
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.7 / points: 7.0 / quiz: 190032 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.2 / points:11.0 / quiz:Q71456
Lexile: 680L

“Oh has crafted a truly chilling middle grade horror novel that will grab readers’ imaginations.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Even more impressive than the shiver factor is the way the author skillfully uses the compelling premise to present a strong, consistent message of not rejecting what you don’t understand.” Booklist (starred review)

“This mystery thriller infused with diverse characters and intriguing themes will appeal to horror fans and to reluctant readers who enjoy a good scare.” —School Library Journal

We Need Diverse Books founder Ellen Oh returns with Spirit Hunters, a high-stakes middle grade mystery series about Harper Raine, the new seventh grader in town who must face down the dangerous ghosts haunting her younger brother.

A riveting ghost story and captivating adventure, this tale will have you guessing at every turn!

Harper doesn’t trust her new home from the moment she steps inside, and the rumors are that the Raine family’s new house is haunted. Harper isn’t sure she believes those rumors, until her younger brother, Michael, starts acting strangely.

The whole atmosphere gives Harper a sense of déjà vu, but she can’t remember why. She knows that the memories she’s blocking will help make sense of her brother’s behavior and the strange and threatening sensations she feels in this house, but will she be able to put the pieces together in time?


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