Recommended for ages 9-13
Eleven year-old Thelma Bee is always doing something. She’s reading, she’s working on science experiments, she’s hanging out with her best friend – a guy! – Alexander. Her father runs an antique shop in town and her mother is always off on some kind of adventure, exploring and searching for different animals, so she’s got adventuring and imagination in her blood. When a dour woman shows up at her father’s shop with a small box, things start going very, very wrong: her father is kidnapped by a ghost that very night, and it’s up to Thelma, Alexander, and a local group of ghost hunters to get him back safely. It’s a scary mission, but one Thelma has to undertake – and she’ll learn a lot about herself in the process.
The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee is so much fun! Middle graders are going to love the smart, spunky middle grader that doesn’t care about the mean girls and their dopey fashion choices – she has better things to do. When her dad is kidnapped by a ghost, right in front of her, she charges into action, amassing the facts she knows and researching what she needs to fill in the gaps of her knowledge and save her dad. She’s a great heroine for middle graders, girls and boys alike, because she shows that science, facts, and a clear path of reasoning will get you through some tough times.
The book is fast-paced, leading us into action pretty quickly, and not letting any lag set in. I’ll be booktalking this one hard, and pairing her with Hermione (Harry Potter) and Annabeth (Percy Jackson) for my fantasy-loving readers. Put this one right next to Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, Sally Gardner’s Wings & Co. series, and Karen Foxlee’s Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy to create a solid girl-power reading display.
If you’re going to be at BEA/Book Con this week, I am SO envious! Have a great time, and visit Mighty Media at Booth 2170 when you get a chance! They’ll be at BookCon from 10am-6pm, and Erin Petti will be signing ARC’s of The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee at 1PM, with a bookstore event to follow at 5pm at (Uncharted Books).