The Girl in the Locked Room: A Ghost Story
An opening caveat: I’m not in this book’s target middle-grade audience. To this book’s audience, I’m, like, so old. But I also have a long list of ghost stories and novels under my belt, and my psyche was fundamentally shaped by Are You Afraid of the Dark?, so I have certain expectations.
At first, The Girl in the Locked Room failed to impress. The writing seemed a bit melodramatic, even for YA, and the basic plot was, well, pretty basic: a young girl named Jules moves into an old, dilapidated house and begins seeing the figure of a girl in the top-floor window. Somewhat disappointingly, the book shows its hand immediately–the first chapter!–by beginning with a chapter written from “The Girl’s” (ie, the ghost’s) point of view. The narrative then alternates between Jules’s and “The Girl’s” points of view. And both are pretty tedious for about half of the story.
Eventually, as you would expect, Jules discovers who the mysterious ghost girl is and sets out to help her. Where the book becomes interesting, however, is in the particulars of how/why the ghost girl is there and how to help her. Granted, the answer is clumsy and only convincing if you squint, but at least it was new. And I have to admit that even my cynical self was drawn into the suspense of the final events. A middle-grade reader would likely enjoy the story. But if they’re a more seasoned consumer of ghost stories, this might ultimately be a bit too flat for their taste.
|Author||Mary Downing Hahn|
|Page Count||200 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|