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The Tenth Ghost
Written by Jennifer St. Clair
Review by: Tina Morgan

Perhaps the greatest compliment any writer can receive is that the public enjoys reading their work. If Jennifer St. Clair could see the line of students in my daughter's class waiting to read her YA novel, The Tenth Ghost, I'm sure she'd feel quite honored. 

Reviewing a young adult or middle grade fiction novel can be difficult. I can point out the technical flaws and tell if the story worked for me, but I can't tell you if the target audience will enjoy the book unless I ask a student to read it. Fortunately for me, I have a young daughter who likes to read.

The Tenth Ghost is the story of a girl named Jacob. An unusual name for a young girl but Jacob isn't your normal student. She's a witch whose parents have been murdered by dragons. Her best friend, Emma is a ghost who lives in the apple tree behind Jacob's house. When the dragons come looking for Jacob's family, Emma hides her under the apple tree's roots.

Jacob finds herself faced with the decision of living with two of her elderly witch aunts, an uncle she's just met or attending Darkbrook School of Magic. The grownups breathe a sigh of relief when she chooses to go to the school, believing it to be the safest place for her. But the school holds not only the secret to the dragons' attack on Jacob's parents but an even darker danger that's been lurking there for more than 100 years. If Jacob can't unravel the mystery, she'll become the school's tenth ghost.

You may have picked up on a few similarities between the premise of The Tenth Ghost and another very popular children's book. This did distract me a bit, but the kids in my daughter's class don't seem to mind.

However, I would have preferred that by the end of the book, the reason Jacob is chosen to be the tenth ghost had been resolved. The author hints at the reason why she's been given a boy's name but never clarifies the issue.

Over all, The Tenth Ghost is a pleasant and enjoyable read and judging by the list of kids waiting to read it in my daughter's 5th grade class, it's a big hit with its target market.

The Tenth Ghost earns a * * * * rating.

You can order The Tenth Ghost in e-book, paper back and CD formats from Writers-Exchange e-books in both print and e-book format.
ISBN 187696233X

Rating Scale:
* * * * * = Un-put-downable, excellent reading!
* * * * = Good value, interesting reading.
* * * = Had potential, but could have been better.
* * = Slow, difficult to read, could have been improved.
* = Imminently forgettable.



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