Kat didn’t believe in ghosts—until now. . .
When Kat Sinclair’s dad tells her his new job hosting the ghost-hunting TV show Passport to Paranormal means they’ll be living on the road and visiting the world’s most haunted places, Kat packs her bags without a second thought. But the ghostbusting life isn’t as cool as Kat expected. The cast and crew don’t always get along, the producer’s annoying nephew has unexpectedly shown up, and Kat thinks the show—and her dad—might be cursed. Kat decides to start writing a blog with “a behind the scenes look at the creepiest show on TV.” But she soon discovers that going behind the scenes may just reveal more than she really wants to know. – Goodreads
Dead Air Review
Dead Air is an excellent beginning to a new middle-grade paranormal fiction series written by Michelle Schusterman. It features a POC for the main character and has an LGBT edge to it (although that’s not immediately obvious). It also has an awesome grandma in it. Gotta give points for the grandma who refuses to baby her grandchild, and was a former scream queen!
Kat, the main character in Dead Air, is going through some upheaval in her family when she ends up going on the road with her dad. It’s not long, though until the normal ‘human’ problems are buried underneath some paranormal ones. As someone who has never believed in ghosts, Kat finds herself having to re-evaluate her beliefs when spooky things begin happening around her. A curse, a ghost (or 3?), a new job for her dad, and a change of scenery all at once don’t exactly give Kat the stability she needs, either.
I liked Kat. She’s a perfectly believable character. She makes mistakes and she’s got a temper, but she stands up for herself and her father without thinking twice about it. She’s also pleasingly non-self-conscious, as she’s more concerned with what’s going on around her. She’s also got a decent sense of humor, a bit of a mouth, and a bit of a hero complex that gets her in over her head.
Things of note for those that might care: Dead Air takes place on and off ‘the set’ of a ghost hunt. There is some explanation of EVP and the kids do play with a Ouija board at one point. There is a character with a heart problem, and it does act up during the course of the investigation. However, no long-term damage is done to the person’s health.
A well-paced story with a bit of a spooky flair, Dead Air is not just for middle-graders. Easy to read and entertaining, Dead Air sets the perfect tone for what will hopefully be a popular series. I definitely recommend checking it out when you get a moment.