Sixth-grader Nina Tanleven knows that old Mrs. Watson’s spike-roofed, dark green house is haunted. She feels the ghost as soon as she walks toward the faded porch. But when Nina climbs the stairs to look for an antique wardrobe in the tower room, she has to wonder what else the spooky mansion is hiding. Soon Nina is in the company of a ghostly crying child, a long-dead artist, and a gruesome, hypnotic painting. To break the dark spell surrounding the house, she will have to join forces with these shadowy spirits.
Bruce Coville is the author of dozens of books for young listeners. He has been a storyteller, teacher, and actor. It was his love for the theater that led him to write his first book about Nina Tanleven, The Ghost in the Third Row. The feisty Nina, his favorite ghostbuster, is sure to become yours, too.
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This is one of my favorite YA books. It does a great job introducing some social American aspects of WWI, while remaining engaging. I highly recommend it for the tweens on your gift lists, as well as for yourself. Ghosts, mysteries, history, & libraries - what more can you ask for?
I find the narrator's voice a bit grating, but I became used to it. And the characterizations are well done.
- Sheley Napier