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School Spirit (Suddenly Supernatural) Hardcover – June 1, 2008


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School Spirit (Suddenly Supernatural) + Suddenly Supernatural: Unhappy Medium + Suddenly Supernatural 4: Crossing Over
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 790L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (June 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316066834
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316066839
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,866,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–7—For Kat, life in Medford, NY, is complicated. Her mom's a professional medium, communing with spirits. After Kat's 13th birthday, she starts seeing ghosts, too, and she fears being ostracized and perpetually friendless. She becomes friendly with Jac, a talented cellist who lugs around her instrument but hasn't played since an incident of intense stage fright, and together the reluctant medium and reluctant musician share their secrets, Kat's new dog, and a supernatural experience in the school library. The ghost of a flute-playing former student needs their help. This is middle-grade fiction meets Ghost Whisperer, combining a spectral plot with a stereotypical adolescent setting that kids will relate to—catty peers and dealing with the social hierarchy mapped out in lunch tables. The book isn't scary, but there is a creepy moment during a predawn school "break-in." The main characters are likable, and the mystery's clues are well paced. There is occasional unnatural-sounding dialogue and odd/old slang. Pop-cultural references abound. Unresolved conflicts remain but are interesting enough to merit reading further installments.—Danielle Serra, Cliffside Park Public Library, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

A career children's book author, Elizabeth Cody Kimmel is best known as the author of the Lily B. books. To prepare to write this novel, she consulted with a renowned medium who advised her on what it was like growing up with the ability to see the dead.

More About the Author

Elizabeth Kimmel Willard, the pen name for Elizabeth Cody Kimmel, is a lifetime Little House enthusiast. She is the author of many books for children, including the Lily B. series. She lives in Cold Spring, New York, with her husband and their daughter.

Customer Reviews

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See all 27 customer reviews
The friendship between Kat and Jac is what makes this story.
TeensReadToo
I have so far checked out the next three in this series from the library as well and look forward to reading them this week.
Amanda N. Carpenter
A book I can honestly recommend to any kid looking for some great ghostly fare.
E. R. Bird

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
So I'm on a plane ride from Seattle to New York and wouldn't you know it but I don't bring enough books to read. Under normal circumstances I have a problem with overstocking my purse with reading material. This time the opposite is true. So I pull out anything I happen to have on hand, and most of it is simply terrible. I'm alternating between bad crazy books and bad depressing books in an effort to simply make the time go faster when I remember that a literary agent I know, who happens to be taking the same flight as me, gave me Suddenly Supernatural not a day before. She had assured me that it was great, which I took with a grain of salt or two. Of course the book's agent is going to think it's the best single thing since sliced bread. No surprises there. But the pickings are slim and my flight has been delayed another hour and a half (thank YOU, Delta). I decide to give the book a go. As a children's librarian I've trained myself to look for certain qualities in my fiction for kids. Is it interesting? Is it good? Does it fall into the usual trips, traps, and snares common to the genre? But to my amazement this book sucks me in instantly. With a rare combination of readability and genuine middle school trials and tribulations, author Elizabeth Cody Kimmel gives a well-placed kick to a genre that deserves a little rejiggering here and a little remastering there. A book I can honestly recommend to any kid looking for some great ghostly fare.

Seventh grader Kat has a situation on her hands. First of all, her mother's a medium. "And I don't mean the kind that fits in between small and large." Rather she's the kind of person who contacts ghosts and spirits for a living.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a review from my 8 year-old daughter:

"This story is about a girl named Kat whose mother is a medium. But not the size medium, the supernatural medium, who communicates with spirits. All until Kat finds out she's a medium, too! Now Kat and her best friend Jac have to help a spirit in their school cross over successfully. Will they make it?

One reason I like this book is because it shows a lot of teamwork. There are some big words that older kids would know better than younger kids. This book can be a little creepy, so I recommend it to 9-12 year-olds. I really enjoyed this book and know you will, too!"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. April Holgate on April 2, 2014
Format: Audible Audio Edition
What a great book for kids who are into ghosts and paranormal reads!! This is also a terrific book for helping kids who are a little different accept themselves! Because “In reality there is no normal. Normal is something people have agreed to invent so we have something to compare ourselves to. Normal should be the least of your worries.”, what a great lesson to teach kids!!

The whole book is from Kat's POV, she has a slightly quirky outlook for a thirteen year old. I really enjoyed her narrative and found her delightful, even when she was being touched by angst. She is a terrific role model for girls to read, and not so girly that it would turn of boys who are reading.

The plot is quick and easy to follow. The story is fun and flows nicely. I love a little ghosty mystery. This was rather simple to solve, but it is for kids and I am an adult who reads lots of mysteries. From a kids point of view this probably rocks!

Great introduction of vocabulary words for young readers. I loved that the definitions were given in a round about way and never felt dictionary. This is fantastic for kids reading at or above their level.

I listened to the audiobook which is narrated by Allyson Ryan, who is fantastic! She has clear and distinct voices, that are easy to follow in transitions. She has a great pace for kids who are listening while reading along with the book, or you can speed it up a touch if you like. I loved her energy and slightly snarky tone that really lends itself to the read. I will definitely be looking for more of her work.

Overall, this is a great read for kids and adults alike. This is one of those series that draws you in and hooks you from the start. So many great pop culture references, something kids will really appreciate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pop Bop TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There's a lot of middle school/junior high angst out there, and a lot of first person confessionals that try too hard to be funny, bright, and always ready with a quip or a rueful and inappropriately mature insight. Well, here's a book that does it right, and hits all of the notes in a very satisfying way.

Kat is perceptive, and funny, and insightful, but in an age appropriate way. What I mean is that what she thinks is funny or gross is probably what her reader would think is funny or gross. No irony, no winking smirks, no heavyhanded moralizing. The book just feels right.

Part of that may come from the Kat and Jac friendship, which just feels so right and honest that its glow just floats you through some of the bumpier dialogue and clunkier plotting. It also helps that Jac, the friend, has some of the best lines and is given a generous part of the story, so that you really have two protagonists to root for.

Perhaps best of all, (beyond Kat's charming honesty), is Mom. She is introduced as a vague and spacey lost hippie, but as the book develops she turns out to be a wise, perceptive and loving guide for her daughter. In a world where the heroes and heroines are usually orphans, children of divorce, or the children of idiots, this is an almost shocking development. And you know what? Having a strong parent adds a great deal to the story; much more than I would have expected after so many orphaned/abandoned child books I've read.

So, while very mild on the supernatural scale, strong on things like friendship and just growing up. And fun. And a little silly. And entertaining. Well worth a try.
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