Rummanah Aasi
  I'm moving steadily along the Illinois Bluestem reading list this year. I hope to finish this list by December. I recently finished Kate Klise's Dying to Meet You which is the first book in her 43 Old Cemetery Road series. I anticipated a scary ghost story for kids but was delightfully surprised that it was a ghost story-comedy instead.

Description: Ignatius B. Grumply is a washed up children's writer. His last best selling book was published about a decade ago. Convinced that he absolutely does not have writers block but just needs a quiet place to write, he moves into the Victorian mansion at 43 Old Cemetery Road where he will pen his masterpiece. There is a slight problem, however, as the mansion is already occupied by eleven-year-old Seymour, his cat Shadow, and an irritable ghost named Olive. It's hard to say who is more outraged. Is it possible that a grumpy old ghost can inspire this crotchety old man and the abandoned kid?

Review: Although the title invokes a horror story its rickety, dilapidated mansion,  Dying to Meet you is a mock-Gothic, ghost story-comedy. Instead of being scared and slowly turning the pages in fears of what could be lurking next, we are laughing hysterically at the clever puns in the book as we meet our cast of characters.
  When former best-selling children's author I.B. Grumply moves into a Victorian mansion in Ghastly, IL, to write the latest installment in his "Ghost Tamer" series, he is flustered not just by his overwhelming case of writer's block, which he strongly denies, but also dismayed to find the mansion is already occupied by boy named Seymour (who really does see-more *wink wink*) Hope, his cat, and Olive C. Spence, a unhappy ghost living in the cupola who never managed to publish her books in her lifetime.
  Although Grumply has written ghost tales, he himself is a nonbeliever. Olive and Seymour attempt to convince him by pulling pranks on the cranky author. Animosity slowly turns into friendship as Grumply realizes that Olive and Spencer could actually help him out with his book. The three collaborate on a book about their own individual experiences.
 Along with the fun plot, I loved how the narrative is composed. We don't find our traditional prose and illustration but rather the book is all told through letters, newspaper articles and other documents along with Sarah Klise's whimsical line drawings, which add substance to the plot and a quick pace that will appeal to reluctant readers as well as leave its audience eager for book two. I plan on continuing this series because I had such a good time reading it as I hope other readers will too.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: The scenes with the ghost may be a bit scary for the younger readers, but they should be okay if the book is read with an adult. Recommended for Grades 3-6.

If you like this book try: Over My Dead Body by Kate Klise (43 Old Cemetery Road #2), Dial-a-Ghost by Eva Ibbotson, Regarding the Fountain series by Kate Klise
2 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    "Instead of being scared and slowly turning the pages in fear of what could be lurking next, we are laughing hysterically at the clever puns in the book as we meet our cast of characters."

    That's my kind of ghost story! I'm such a wuss, I jump at the smallest things so I think a humorous tale is much more my style:) Love that it's told through letters and newspaper articles.

  2. Hmm..even with the spooky ghosts, this sounds a bit to MG for me, and right now, I'm doing all I can to catch up on my adult and YA romances.

    But how can you not appreciate an author who is willing to do that kind of hands on research for their book?!

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