Book Review of A Touch of Ruckus
The Children’s Book Review
A Touch of Ruckus
Written by Ash Van Otterloo
Ages 8+ | 240 Pages
Publisher: Scholastic | ISBN: 9781338702040
What to Expect: Magic, ghosts, friendship, family, secrets, gender diversity.
A Touch of Ruckus is both a spooky ghost story and a heartwarming story about family love.
Tennessee Lancaster has a very important job in her family—one that no one else knows about. When Tennie touches objects, she can pull memories from them. It gives her an illicit peek into their secrets. With that knowledge comes great responsibility—the responsibility to keep the peace, not be a burden, and look after everyone and everything.
When Tennie gets an unexpected opportunity to stay with her grandmother in the mountains, her job becomes much, much harder. Her grandmother is secretly struggling financially, her mother might be pregnant and suffering from depression again, and her father’s new job has fallen through. Oh – and Tennie’s gift has woken up some pretty nasty ghosts. Will Tennie really be able to solve everyone’s problems before everything falls apart?
Set in the Smoky Mountains, the story is filled with the sights, sounds, and culture of rural Tennessee, perfectly evocative of Halloween magic. Tennie herself is a realistic, relatable character, and readers will love watching her developing relationship with Fox, a gender-diverse friend with a lot to teach Tennie about responsibility and relationships. As well as being a riveting ghost story, A Touch of Ruckus touches on difficult topics such as grief, environmental sustainability, poverty, and mental health.
For readers who love ghost stories, A Touch of Ruckus provides plenty of excitement with a thought-provoking plot line to add substance – a fantastic read at any time of year.
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About the Author
Ash Van Otterloo is the author of Cattywampus. When they’re not writing and freelance editing, they love gardening, hiking, exchanging playful banter, and collecting folklore stories. A longtime resident of the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, they now live in Washington with their family and an enormous collection of plants.
A Touch of Ruckus by Ash Van Otterloo was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like A Touch of Ruckus by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Magic, Ghosts, Friendship, Family, and Diversity.