Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Kate Milford
Illustrator: Jaime Zollaras
Publisher: Clarion Books
It’s Christmas Break and Milo is missing his ghostly friend Meddy. Georgie and Clem arrive at Greenglass House to hideout from their theft that went wrong. Meddy reappears because she can sense trouble arriving on Greenglass’s doorstep in the form of carolers hailing from a local asylum. The caroler’s traditional Christmas visit to Greenglass House goes haywire when two carolers are mysteriously injured, a third caroler is slightly poisoned, and Georgie and Clem’s stolen goods from their caper are taken. The carolers stay overnight, giving Milo and Meddy time to investigate. On the following day, it is revealed that one of the carolers is a master smuggler presumed dead, and a few others are there just to steal Georgie and Clem’s goods. Thanks to Milo and Meddy deductions, all is revealed and resolved, resulting in a quiet, happy Christmas for Milo.
Ghosts of Greenglass House somewhat falters from the cleverness, tightness, and wit established in Kate Milford’s first book. There are still many of the same winning elements Milford uses from her beginning story: memorable characters, intriguing mysteries, clever connections, vivid setting, and unique folktales. But Milford’s climax drags out for too long because of cluttering details that distract from the main dilemma. For example, Milford spends several chapters on Milo figuring out a new avatar and avatar’s background just to solve the mysteries behind the carolers’ intentions. This does nothing to help the story. Additionally, the climax occurs in less than twenty-four hours. Milford drags out this short time span into almost four-hundred pages. However, Milford’s infectious writing style will still keep readers glued to the end.