Title: School Spirit | Series: Suddenly Supernatural #1 | Author: Elizabeth Cody Kimmel | Pub. Date: 2008-6-1 | ISBN13: 9780316066839 | Pages: 320 | Genre: Children’s Pararnormal Mystery | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Library
In the tradition of the loveable but flawed heroines from Louise Rennison’s Georgia Nicholson Books, Kathleen O’Dell’s Agnes Parker novels, and Lois Lowry’s Anastasia Krupnik books comes Elizabeth Cody Kimmel’s Kat Roberts. All Kat wants is to be normal, or at least to look that way to students at her new school. But her mother is a medium, and not the kind that fits in between small and large; Kat’s mom is the kind of medium who sees spirits and communicates with them. And, even worse, Kat has just discovered that she can see spirits too. In fact, she seems to be the only one capable of helping a spirit at her school cross over successfully. The question is can she do it without needing to switch schools herself?
In this the first of three SUDDENLY SUPERNATURAL books, Elizabeth Cody Kimmel brings humor, heart, and a little supernatural charm to the trials and tribulations of finding out who you are and who you want to be–all while surviving the seventh grade.
School Spirit Review
School Spirit was a delight. Middle grade paranormal mystery done right. It has the ageless appeal of a clean, slightly creepy story well-told. Much better than my previous paranormal mystery experience of I Text Dead People.
The heroine and her best friend in School Spirit are both lovable characters, though one is a bit more real-feeling than the other. I also really liked Kat’s mother. Kat Roberts just wants to be normal, and normal is just not what she is meant to be. Luckily she has a good friend in Jac who teaches her that being normal isn’t necessarily something to strive for. Kat’s journey in this book is one of acceptance of her gift and friendship.
Jac is an interesting character in herself in School Spirit. She’s definitely developed into her own person even though her mother seems to be very strict and controlling. She legitimately just doesn’t seem to care what anyone else thinks of her, but shows it in atypical ways. This isn’t the kid dressed in black, thumbing her nose at her parents. She just does her own thing without asking for anyone’s approval, and has no desire to give in to peer pressure. Kat definitely needs her to live up to her full potential.
Elizabeth Cody Kimmel doesn’t let herself get distracted in School Spirit. It’s obvious that she knows exactly what story she wants to tell. She does it in a way that keeps easily distracted readers paying attention as well. I didn’t want to put this book down. I didn’t want it to end, either. And while it is definitely what I would call a paranormal mystery rather than a horror, there is a hint of evil teased at. Nothing too bad, but enough to send a shiver down a young reader’s spine.
Overall, a fantastic start to a series and one I would highly recommend for adventurous young readers.