There was a time when Simon Crumb didn’t believe in ghosts. That was before he accepted a dare by the school bullies to go into a haunted house for a selfie. There, he’s confronted by a vengeful spirit. He manages to escape. But as he races home on his bike, he realizes the ghost has hitched a ride with him.
In his phone.
The entity wants something, demands something. But Simon’s nightmares about a roaring freight train, a rickety bridge, and a strange medallion bring him no closer to the answer. And what about the bullies who pushed him into the dare? Do they have a connection to the past that could spell danger to Simon and his friend, Nikki?
Simon and Nikki dig into the history of the haunted house on Blaine Street and uncover a tale of treachery, deceit, and murder. Can they solve a mystery that has been buried for decades?
First-place Royal Palm award winner in the middle-grade category presented by The Florida Writers Association.
What Readers Say
a wholly likable protagonist
Summers crafts a charming, lightly scary middle grade ghost story with an enticing mystery at its center and an engaging modern twist.
Twelve-year-old Simon’s voice is authentic, approachable, and infused with relatable humor as well as moments of reflection on loss. Summers skillfully reveals information without relying on exposition, and dialogue is well crafted and believable.
Summers’s novel pays homage to classic ghost stories and integrates more than a few familiar tropes: relentless bullies and their comeuppance, a spooky house, and a ghost with a message to deliver. He handles these elements handedly, though, and adds freshness by setting the story in the era of social media.
Simon is a wholly likable protagonist readers will root for. Summer fills out the cast with an endearing love interest, bullies with a degree of humanity, and a ghost with a compelling tragedy to unravel.