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The Haunted Library: The Ghost in the Tree House by Dori Hillestad Butler

Source: Purchased
Paperback, 128 pgs.
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The Haunted Library: The Ghost in the Tree House by Dori Hillestad Butler, illustrated by Aurore Damant, is the 7th book in this series, which I think is best read in order (although they do recap previous information in each). I think young readers will have an easier time following the character development and changes in both kids’ lives if they start from the beginning of the series.

In this book, a group of girls in town have noticed strange goings on at the tree house where their club meets. Some of the girls believe it is a ghost, which is why Claire and Kaz are on the case, but some of the girls think it is the rival boys’ club trying to frighten them away from the tree house. There are a number of dynamics at play in this book, from learning to include a younger brother, to girls wanting their own time to play together without boys, to young kid ghosts who now much listen to their parents after being on their own for so long. There is a lot of play here, and it shows in the interactions between the ghosts and the “solid” Claire, as well as between the groups of kids themselves, and the dynamics those kids and ghost kids have with their own parents.

The short chapters and illustrations make this a book for early readers to read on their own without much help, but for older readers with more experience, the plot may plod along too much. This series has kept my struggling reader engaged, but over the last year as her skills have improved, the series is not as exciting as it has been for her in the past. However, now I want to know what happens in the next installment because the cliffhanger of this book is a doozy.

The Haunted Library: The Ghost in the Tree House by Dori Hillestad Butler, illustrated by Aurore Damant, is a good series for early readers with its short mysteries and ghosts. Readers will love the interactions between the ghosts and the children, and the parents will love reading along with their children, hoping to solve the mystery.

RATING: Quatrain

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