What’s It About?
Laura is not happy about moving away from her best friend, but her parents drag her with them regardless. It is bad enough that the house is in desperate need of repair, but things get worse when her sister, Sarah, introduces her new friend, Sadie, that no one else can see. The rest of the family are happy to play along with the imaginary girl, but strange things start happening and Laura is convinced that it is Sadie. Her parents start blaming Laura and she knows that no one will believe her; but she has to do something before it’s too late and Sarah disappears completely as Sadie takes over.
This is a fairly short Middle-Grade read, that I loved as a child, and still enjoy now. While there is nothing truly incredible about it, it makes a nice change of pace from the horror-filled ghost stories we are used to. I see this charm as a bonus, but of course, it also means that others will find it too simple to bother with; it has to be remembered that it is a children’s story, and it does not try to guise itself as anything other than this.
I found the character of Laura, whose point of view the story is told from, very easy to relate to. She thinks that her family are treating her unfairly, as no matter what she does she somehow ends in trouble. I think that everyone, at some point or another, has felt misunderstood or alone and therefore it is easy to put yourself in her place, even when we understand that it isn’t strictly true. I found it very interesting that the character of Sadie and her actions are what this story is based around, and yet we never really meet her, due to her being a ghost that Laura can’t see or hear. We only see fragments of Sadie, which I felt could have been expanded on, but overall the story isn’t actually about her – it is about Laura and her relationship with her sister, Sarah, and brother, Nick, and how they learn to trust one another.
There is a twist at the end of the book (so I won’t reveal it here), which offers explanations and ties everything up in a fairly neat bow. The ending does imply more stories to come, which would be wonderful as I always like to spend more time with characters, however this is a stand-alone book.
I would classify this as a sweet, charming story about the importance of family and believe that it will resonate with anyone who has ever felt like a misfit in their own family, or wants to remember/feel how it can be with siblings. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone looking for horror, death and gore as, while this is a ghost story, it is much more character-orientated than trying to survive or solve a mystery (though admittedly, there are very light threads of these within ‘The Ghost of Sadie Kimber’.