The Ghost at Old Oak Way: An Acorn Mystery: Laurie Cameron, Laura Meagher
By Amanda Lynch, The Children’s Book Review
Published: May 31, 2009
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: UnTapped Talent LLC (June 1, 2009)
What to Expect: Mystery, Civil War, Friendship, Suspense, Supernatural Experiences
The Ghost at Old Oak Way, the debut novel by Laurie Cameron and Laura Meagher, is an exciting read that keeps you guessing until the very end. The follow-the-clues mystery is combined with an interweaving of Civil War History and elements of the supernatural which make it difficult to put the book down. I certainly had a hard time!
Eliza and her family live in Alexandria, Virginia. They are proprietors of The Bookshop: a cozy bookstore which has been in their family since the Civil War. Eliza is a fun and endearing heroine: while not always the best at school, she is a hard worker and has a very kind heart, as manifested by her willingness to welcome Simon, the new kid at school, into her friend group. What makes Eliza special, though, is that she also has inherited a quirk unique to her family: she can see the ghosts of her ancestors, and they are trying to tell her something.
So in the midst of trying to get schoolwork done, spending time with her best friend, Melinda, and helping out around The Bookshop, Eliza finds herself face-to-face with a mystery: what are the ghosts trying to tell her? She finds clues and hidden spaces in her family’s store, but isn’t quite sure what they mean until she finds out that her parents may lose the business. With the help of the ghosts, will Eliza be able to help save her family’s store?
I really think this is a timely book: the reality is Eliza’s story could relate to a lot of children nowadays, whose parents might be worried about losing their jobs, their business, their houses. It’s also a powerful tale of family banding together to weather the hard times. The book itself would also be a fun read-aloud for the family, as adults will enjoy the fast-paced writing and adept attention to detail. As to the story itself, the content is appropriate for ages 9 and up.
For more information about the book, check out www.acornmysteries.com.
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