Secrets of the Bloody Tower

GhostersSecrets of the Bloody Tower is the third book in the Ghosters series written by Diana Corbitt. This book finds Kerry, Theresa, and Joey in Kerry’s home country of England. What are they doing there? Visiting Kerry’s family of course! And ghost hunting!

While Theresa and Joey’s dad goes on a two-week book tour in England, Theresa and Joey are invited to stay with Kerry at her grandmother’s house. Unfortunately, an illness puts Kerry’s grandmother in the hospital, so the three kids are left to explore England alone. During their tour of the Tower of London, they meet the ghosts of two young boys who implore the trio to find their bones and give them a proper burial. Thus, Theresa, Joey, and Kerry traverse the streets of London in search of the missing bones, meeting many other ghosts and making important ghost hunting discoveries along the way.

My favorite character in this book is still Joey. I like how he is treated as a valuable member of the team despite having Asperger’s. I know I’ve said it before, but so often characters with special needs are relegated to the background, or their importance isn’t realized by other characters until the conclusion of the story. One thing I really like about Joey is his perseverance and courage. He knows certain things are difficult for him like making eye contact or being touched, but instead of avoiding those things, he works hard to push through the uncomfortable feelings he experiences when making eye contact or being touched.

While Joey is my favorite character, I still like the other characters as well. I find Theresa and Kerry to be respectful of the adults in their life and considerate of those around them. They eagerly pitch in and help Kerry’s aunt, who checks in on them periodically while Kerry’s grandmother is in the hospital. Like all children, Kerry, Theresa, and Joey aren’t perfect, but overall, they are good kids.

It may sound weird to talk about the behavior of the characters especially when it is not central to the story, but these little traits – being considerate, respectful, responsible, courageous, and imperfect – are what make these children a positive role model for young readers.

As with Ms. Corbitt’s other books, Secrets of the Bloody Tower is well written and interspersed with humor, mostly in Joey’s attempts to use common idioms. Some parents may want to know that this book delves a bit more into the spirit world with the trio attempting to hold a séance and visiting a Wican store to purchase an ovilus. It is by no means dark like the Harry Potter books, but some parents might not be comfortable with those references.

Overall, this is another solid book by Ms. Corbitt that is sure to be enjoyed by children (or adults) who enjoy ghost stories or a good scare.

*I was provided with Ghosters free of charge in exchange for my review of it. I received no monetary compensation, only the privilege and enjoyment that comes with reading a well-written story.

Ghosters by Diana Corbitt

GhostersI’ve never been one for ghost stories. (I don’t like to be scared.) But, I must say I enjoyed Ghosters* by Diana Corbitt. While Ghosters is geared for ages 9-12, I found myself frequently chuckling and wanting to know what happened in the end. (Honestly, I read about one-fourth of the book and then had to skip to the end to see what happened before I could go back finish reading it.)

There were two things I particularly liked about the book:

First, Joey, the main character’s brother, has Asperger’s. In Ghosters, Joey is treated like a real person. Whereas often times in movies or books, the person with disabilities is left on the sideline until the end when everybody realizes his worth and value, Joey plays a major role in the ghost hunt. His sister truly loves him and does not regard her brother’s presence on their ghost hunting adventures as an annoyance. It was nice to see value and dignity given to a character with disabilities from the start of the story instead of having to wait until the end for the person to receive the dignity and value they deserved from the other characters.

Second, Theresa (the main character) and Joey’s mother recently died; their father, in addition to the kids, is grieving. The loss of Theresa’s and Joey’s mother has created a rift between Theresa and her father. (Mini spoiler alert): It is ultimately, Theresa’s quest to find a ghost that helps her family heal. It is this fact in particular that I thought was clever. Who’d have thought that a little bit of ghost hunting could help a grieving family heal?

*I was provided with Ghosters free of charge in exchange for my review of it. I received no monetary compensation, only the privilege and enjoyment that comes with reading a well-written story, and this story is indeed well-written.

P.S. I will be adding this to my “Favorites” list for those children who enjoy ghost stories.