Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Pram lives with her aunts in a 200-year-old colonial home. Pram's best and only friend is a ghost named Felix that is visible to her alone. Pram sees ghosts everywhere, and for her the dead are much less frightening than the living. When Pram is forced to go to school, she tries to be as invisible as a ghost, but her plan fails when a boy named Clarence also wants the most inconspicuous desk at the back of the class. Pram and Clarence bond over the fact that they have both lost their mothers. Clarence wants to visit spiritualists in the hope of reconnecting with his mother, while Pram wants to find the living father that she has never met. Both are seeking something beyond their grasp, and their search attracts unwanted and dangerous attention. In the end they find that what they have is enough—the love of family and friends.
This is a curious and very enjoyable tale. Pram is very practical, and her full name is actually Pragmatic. Her character is one that many girls and women will be able to relate to. She is very loyal and straightforward, finding the prevarications of others to be confusing and annoying. Clarence makes the perfect friend, and in him we see a budding romance with Pram that adds a gentle ambiance to the overall story line. Her friend, Felix, experiences some jealousy that is resolved by his own love for Pram and his desire to see her live a fulfilling life. This is a great sub-theme that allows the reader to enjoy the tension and caring between all three characters. This is a great story for anyone who can enjoy a preteen paranormal paramour (or two).
*Contains mild violence.