Weirdo Goth chick OCTOBER SCHWARTZ is the new kid in town -- and Sticksville, Ontario will never be the same. Poor October. She's 13 years old and definitely not fitting in. Which means she's a frequent target of bullies and mean girls, and has few real friends. It doesn't help matters that her preoccupied, nerdy science teacher dad is suffering from depression, still mourning the death of his wife (and October's mom) ten years ago.
Did I mention October's lonely?
So she starts hanging out at the local cemetery behind her house, only to discover that the boneyard is home to the ghosts of five dead kids, all about her age. An initially uneasy alliance evolves eventually, and the six become friends.
But that friendship becomes something else again when the a popular teacher at the school dies in a suspicious car crash, and the six decide to form a detective agency to investigate.
By turns dark, witty and just plain cool, the author even manages -- because the dead kids are from all different eras -- to slip in some actual history. But for God's sake don't dare tell your 9-12 year old it's educational -- it'd ruin the fun.
Neil Gaiman fans in particular should lap this up. The Dead Kids' Detective Agency (2011) is the first in a proposed series.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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