Monday, October 22, 2007

Araminta Spookie's debut

This first book in the Araminta Spookie series, My Haunted House, introduces Araminta, a young girl who lives with her Aunt Tabitha and her Uncle Drac in a wonderful, creepy old house. It's a wonderful house to Araminta and Uncle Drac, at any rate - even though Araminta has disappointingly never seen a ghost there, no matter how hard she tries. But Aunt Tabby is completely fed up with the boiler, which spews soot at her and refuses to cooperate. It's become an ongoing battle, which Aunt Tabby is losing. So the house goes up for sale.

Araminta realizes she must foil this dreadful plot. It would be horrible to have to live in a normal old apartment building, where nothing interesting could possibly ever happen. And ironically, it is only now, when the house is in danger of slipping out of her life, that Araminta finally does discover that it's really haunted. Not only that, but the ghosts are anxious to keep the Spookie family living there, and Araminta is able to enlist their help in scaring away prospective buyers. The plan works for a while, but unfortunately there are some house buyers who would like a real ghost to come with the house.

Araminta is a fun character, with guts, determination, and lots of imagination. She takes creative approaches to solving her problems, and, while her solutions don't always work out, she never gives up. Jimmy Pickering's black-and-white illustrations lend a delightfully spooky atmosphere to the book, with cobwebs hanging from the occasional corners of pages, along with partial and full-page illustrations that make the plot even more exciting. There is lots of comforting white space on the pages - the lines of text are separated slightly, and with many illustrations and graphics, the book will not be intimidating to readers who are moving up from transitional books into chapter books. My third grader is enjoying this series - I read it on her recommendation, and I'm glad I did! This is a particularly good read for this Halloween time of year, and I'm looking forward to reading more about Araminta's adventures.

To date, the books in the Araminta Spookie series are:
  1. My Haunted House
  2. The Sword in the Grotto
  3. Frognapped
  4. Vampire Brat
My Haunted House by Angie Sage - Araminta Spookie series, #1 (Katherine Tegen Books, 2006)

7 comments:

  1. I've seen these books around at bookstores, and the nice covers caught my eye. It sounds like a very fun series!

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  2. I've read her Septimus Heap trilogy and they were excellent! She's a good writer for sure.

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  3. I like the artwork, too, Nymeth - it's what made me pick them up in the first place!

    Deslily - I've got the first Septimus Heap sitting on my book pile as we speak (although who knows when I'll get to it!). I'm glad to hear you enjoyed them. The kids at my library have been recommending them to me.

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  4. OH.....this looks like such a fun series!! I'm sure my son will love them. Me too!! Sounds like a good selection for Christmas presents. Every kid gets books for Christmas.

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  5. That's a great idea, Stephanie - I love giving them the first book in a series, because if they like it they know where to go for more! I'm waiting for my 8-year-old to finish the second one so I can read it. I might even be pestering her a little
    (hee hee).

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  6. I love these books so, so much! They make me happy. I wrote a review over here http://booksellerswithoutborders.blogspot.com/2012/01/annie-barrows-angie-sage.html
    if you are interested in taking a gander.

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  7. Hi, Naomi Ruth - Thanks for stopping by! These are fun books, and Araminta is a great character. I'm glad you enjoy them, too. Thanks for the link to your review!

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Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment!