Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ghostly Pick: The Dead and Buried

The Dead and Buried
by Kim Harrington
304 pages

The Dead and Buried is a spooktacular mystery with a sweet swoon-worthy boy who has secrets of his own and a smart heroine who refuses to let a mean ghost take over her house and her life.

When Jade and her family move into town and to a posh neighborhood, she questions (to herself) how her family can afford the house, but it's soon forgotten. She's excited to attend a new high school; her last school was small and everyone knew everyone. She can't wait to have new adventures and meet new friends.

Pretty soon, Jade notices other kids staring at her and whispering behind her back. Jade does some digging and finds out a teenage girl was found dead at the foot of the staircase in Jade's new house. Her parents "forgot" to tell Jade this little detail. The kids at school say that Kayla was pushed; others say she simply fell to her death.

Little brother Colby tells Jade he sees a girl in his room and she doesn't talk to him but she "glimmers." Jade thinks Colby is making the girl up, but when Jade keeps finding her belongings moved around, she realizes that an angry ghost might be haunting them.

Kayla (the ghost) is as angry in death aa she was angry and mean in life. Jade has to figure out who pushed Kayla to her death or Kayla will harm Colby. Kayla's diary holds the key to the mystery and the murder. If only Jade can decipher it in time to save her brother.

This is the best ghost story I've read in a long time. It has all the elements of a great story: a large haunted house, a mean and angry ghost who keeps her own secrets, a hidden diary written in "code," a murder mystery, a love triangle or two, a secret about the ghost's family, a nice guy who's as haunted as the house, and a light romance. Kim Harrignton keeps getting it right. Fans of her Sleuth or Dare series will enjoy The Dead and Buried, and anyone who loves a ghostly mystery will race trhough this book.

I loved the way Kayla's diary was written. Instead of coming right out and naming people, she gives everyone a number. Jade has to study the diary to figure out what number is assigned to each person. I was able to figure it out pretty early on and even knew who the killer was, but that didn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying the book.

Highly, highly recommeded grade 7-up. No language. A teen party and a love triangle. Kayla (the ghost) uses boys as her conquests, but no graphic details are spelled out.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.


  1. I have always loved ghost stories, and this sounds like a great one!
    Franklin County High School
    Frankfort, KY

  2. My students love ghost stories :)
    Crystal River High School
    Crystal River, FL

  3. My girls love ghosts and love stories.

    Oklahoma City, OK

  4. The girls at my high school really enjoy Kim Harrington's novels. They will be thrilled to know a new one is on its way.
    Ballinger High School
    Ballinger, TX 76821

  5. This sounds like a terrific book. Would love this for my Middle School students!

    Joy Walker
    Ithaca School District
    Richland Center, WI 53581

  6. This sounds like a great book. I'm glad to see a ghost story. My students love them. Fingers crossed!
    Norman Howard School
    Rochester, NY

  7. As angry in death as she was mean in life . . . you had me right there.

    Lopez High School
    Arroyo Grande, CA

  8. Sounds like a really great read. Would love to have it on display at the circ desk!
    Norwich Free Academy
    Norwich, CT

  9. I have some girls that would love a book like this!

    Joleen Waltman
    1010 S. 2500 W.
    Aberdeen, ID 83210

  10. Thank you for the opportunity!
    Maggie Knapp
    Fort WOrth, TX

  11. Love your reviews, and this sounds like a great one! Thanks. :)

    Gregory Taylor
    Boise, Idaho