Rummanah Aasi

Description: Ghosts are alive on the island of Nantucket. You can hear them in the wind and in the creaks of the old homes. They want to be remembered. And, even more, they want to protect what was once theirs.
  The ghosts have chosen a few local kids to save the island against the adults who would do it harm. But the kids can't be sure how the ghosts are going to act. Things tend to disappear when ghosts are around. People tend to get trapped - especially if they're up to no good. Only the kids can make things right if the ghosts will let them.

Review: Out of the Wild Night is a ghost story and mystery set on the shores of Nantucket. The book is narrated by ghost Mary W. Chase. One night mysterious footprints shuffle ashore and piques the interest of the children on the island, some of whom claim that they can see and communicate with ghosts. These ghosts have returned in response to renovations of historical island houses, an effort headed by the sneaky Eddy Nold. Phee, her grandfather Sal, and friend Gabe, along with the other members of the North End Gang, conspire to help the ghosts in preventing the renovations. Soon, the increasingly violent nature of the ghost's actions become alarming.
  Balliett's vivid descriptions brings the Nantucket shore alive and the setting soon becomes a character itself. I was drawn in by the mention of ghosts and a having a ghost narrator is appealing, however, it will not hold reader's attention with a meandering plot, multiple subplots, and a large cast of characters that was hard to keep track of and may seem unnecessary. I had a hard time staying focused in the story. While there are plenty of spooky moments with classic creaky stairs and doors that open for no reason, readers who are eager for a real ghost story will be disappointed to wait for quite some time before it happens. This book requires patience and the focused attention of its readers. There is a nice twist at the end story but I fear many will quit this book before reaching it. It is clear that Balliett has a strong connection to Nantucket and to history, but I can not see how this book will be appealing to younger readers.  

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades 4 and up.

If you like this book try: The Old Willis Place by Mary Downing Hahn, The Hunt for the Seventh by Christine Morton-Shaw
3 Responses
  1. Well that is disappointing. This looked fun and spooky but sad to hear it is boring and that it lacks focus.

  2. Oh I'm not a fan of something that meanders but can deal with it if it all works out in the end. I can see that it might appeal to those that enjoy children's mysteries.

  3. Too bad this one wasn't awesome. I'm not a huge ghost story reader, but I do remember loving them on camping trips!

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