From Publishers Weekly
Surprisingly, this thriller by a writer known for her ability to raise hairs (The Ghosts of Mercy Manor; The Dollhouse Murders) is more successful with its down-to-earth themes than with its supernatural elements. Jessica Belland's family has moved into her grandmother's house in the Wisconsin countryside, where her out-of-work parents need pay no rent. Mrs. Belland finds a low-wage clerical position, but Jessica's father struggles to write a book: "Just thinking of the thick pack of white paper waiting next to the typewriter on the screened-in side porch was enough to give Jessie goosebumps." These real-life worries prove rather more unsettling than Jessie's nightmares and eventual sightings of a prim and pretty phantom in an abandoned schoolhouse. Wright raises some interesting questions that are particularly relevant to her readers-whether to cheat on tests, how to continue a friendship with a difficult, angry girl and the special bond between a grandmother and her granddaughter. However, the main project of this novel is the heavy-handed suspense tale of a ghost out for revenge, and no room is left to develop other matters to real satisfaction. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8?Looking for a fresh start, Jessie and her parents have recently moved to her grandmother's rural home, but her enjoyment of the house is marred by nightmares that are chillingly real. Her parents' frustrations with unemployment have put a strain on the whole family, and she doesn't feel able to share her terror as the threatening ghost of her dreams begins to appear while she is awake. Her grandmother's girlhood diaries seem to provide a clue to the reason for the phantom's hatred and jealousy, but they end before she can solve the mystery. When she and her prickly friend Toni are trapped in a vault in an old schoolhouse, Jessie fears that the ghost's anger will be her end. Relationships built on well-defined characters add realism to this supernatural tale. Effective and well crafted, this horror novel will please Wright's many fans and should win her some new ones.?Anne Connor, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.