Right before Winter Break I was reading through several “best of the year” book lists and came across a summary of The Vanishing Season. I was all, “That sounds awesome! Why didn’t I buy it for my library?” Then I checked my catalog and lo and behold, I did buy it. I am not sure how this one slipped past me without me reading it yet, so I added it to the top of my Winter Break reading queue.
This book was reminiscent of Lauren Oliver’s Rooms (a YA version, of course), Elizabeth LaBan’s The Tragedy Paper, and Mary Downing Hahn’s Mister Death’s Blue-Eyed Girls. A ghost living in the basement of a Door County, Wisconsin home sees that girls are being kidnapped and later showing up dead in the lake. Meanwhile, Maggie and her family have moved into the ghost’s house from Chicago after falling on hard times. Maggie becomes friends with the beautiful and quirky girl next door and the quiet, strange boy who lives through the woods. The ghost knows she is tied to these teens, but does not realize exactly how until it is too late.
My opinion? I really like this for older middle school and high school readers. The author paints a beautiful picture of a tight-knit small town that has suddenly become cold and dangerous. The characters are believable, and readers will be hooked as they try to uncover the killer. I cannot wait to (finally) return this to school and get it in the hands of my students.