GHOST FOR RENT
This middle grade, paranormal, ghost story is aimed at youth in grades four to six. It is approximately 13,280 words, 10 chapters, and 65 pages long. The story begins when eleven year old Wendy Wiles learns her parents are planning to get divorced. Forced to leave her beloved city home for a cheaper country place, Wendy, her mother, and her twelve year old brother move to rural Warren, Oregon.
On move-in day, Wendy meets a neighbor girl who tells her their quaint country home is haunted. Events proceed quickly as Wendy, her new friend, Jennifer, and Wendy’s brother, Mike, see ghostly figures dancing in the woods. Despite Mom’s claims that “there’s no such thing as ghosts,” paranormal events continue to occur in the Wiles’ home. Meanwhile her brother Mike, arch-tease, continues to torment Wendy, claiming he’s causing the unusual happenings.
Wendy searches through library records to get to the bottom of the mystery. Finally with Jennifer’s help, Wendy begins to unravel the truth. At last even Mike can no longer disbelieve and decides to aid Wendy in her search. By the end of the story, the three young sleuths have uncovered an accidental death, a suicide and a murder.
Review of GHOST FOR RENT
By Penny Lockwood
Ghost stories are some of my favorite books, and this one kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next.
Eleven-year-old Wendy Wiles’s life is falling apart. Her parents are talking divorce. Her dad leaves home. Wendy, her mom, and her older brother, Mike, move to an old house in the country. Wendy is one unhappy girl. An aspiring poet, she writes a poem about the unfairness of life. After all, poets are supposed to suffer, aren’t they?
As if she doesn’t have enough to deal with, Jennifer, a girl she meets who lives on the other side of the woods, tells Wendy the house they’re living in is haunted. Mike, as brothers delight in doing, teases Wendy, because he, of course, doesn’t believe in ghosts. Wendy’s mother also agrees that there’s no such thing as ghosts. But they don’t know the weird stuff that happens in Wendy’s bedroom.
Ghostly sightings and unsolved mysteries finally make even skeptical Mike a believer, and the children decide to discover the truth about a long ago tragedy. And what about Mom and Dad? How does their story end? I’m not telling.
Ms. Lockwood has written a chilling tale that once you start reading it, you’ll turn on all the lights and check your doors to be sure they’re locked, unless you’d like a visit from a ghost. This is a great story for middle-grade readers who love a good mystery and the paranormal. The brother and sister relationship is true-to-life, and you root for the children to succeed in their quest. I think even older folks will enjoy the book. I know I did.