Recommended for ages 8-12
Minister Beeston, from the Department of Economies, is a superior bean counter. Nothing goes to waste under his watch, so when The Ministry of Ghosts comes to his attention, he is determined to shut them down: ghosts! Preposterous! The fact that they’ve been around for hundreds of years, with no proof that ghosts exist makes him even more flustered – think of all the taxpayer money that’s been wasted! He’s having no more of it. He gives the Ministry three months to prove the existence – or nonexistence – of ghosts, or he’s shutting them down, and reassigning some members to the Department of Sewage! The horror! The Ministry takes action, ultimately hiring help: a boy and a girl, Tim and Thruppence, after hearing that ghosts may be more likely to appear to kids. As the twosome commence investigating, they won’t believe what they learn, and neither will you.
I enjoyed Ministry of Ghosts. It took a bit to ramp up, but once the storyline kicked in, it was a fun read with likable characters and a good sense of humor. There are a few plot twists that are very satisfying. It’s not a scary story – kids looking for a scary book or some thrills and chills aren’t going to find it here, but readers will find a book with great dialogue between characters and a sweetly humorous story that will make you feel good at the close.
I’d booktalk this with Karen Foxlee’s Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy and Laurel Gale’s Dead Boy. YA Books Central has an excerpt if you want to read more.