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Barnholdt (Fake Me a Match) kicks off a lighthearted and entertaining series starring seventh-grader Kendall Williams, a detective for the dead. Kendall has seen ghosts her entire life, and she learned early on that the best way to get rid of them is to help them tie up loose ends and "move into the afterlife." Daniella, the pushy teenage ghost of a former cheerleader, insists that Kendall find one of her friends, but Kendall has much more on her mind-namely terrible math grades, minor family dramas, and a crush on classmate Brandon. Then, to further complicate Kendall's life, an unusually creepy ghost visits with an indecipherable threat. Stylish and creative Kendall, who does her hair to match her mood, is a highly relatable protagonist, and her energetic narration is full of humor (her snarky conversations with Daniella are particularly fun). Barnholdt provides steady suspense and approaches dark topics with a refreshing dose of levity; her cliffhanger ending will leave readers eager for the sequel. Ages 9-12. Agent: Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Trident Media Group. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Gr 4-8-Seventh-grader Kendall Williams is able to see and communicate with ghosts. She has had this ability her entire life, but stopped mentioning it some time ago. If she helps the ghosts, they are able to move on into the afterlife, and they leave. She meets a gymnast ghost who is trying to move on, but the trick is figuring out what Danielle needs to do to actually get there. Kendall tries to maintain a semblance of a normal life; she and her best friend are both interested in boys. Kendall likes Brandon, and Ellie likes his best friend. Trying to figure out if Brandon likes her back, what to wear, and how she should style her hair take up a good deal of Kendall's time that's not occupied by school or helping ghosts. Other drama comes from her father's possible relationship with a neighbor and the fact that Brandon's mother, who is also a ghost, has been randomly showing up as well. Kendall is able to help Danielle, but there are a lot of issues left unresolved, signaling that there is sure to be a sequel.-Jesten Ray, Seattle Public Library, WA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.