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GIVING UP THE GHOST by Sheri Sinykin

Death affects people in many different ways. Children also have a range of emotions when a loved one is facing a serious illness such as cancer. I still remember one of my former students drawing pictures of a large cross next to his mother right after she died. That was his way of coping. In the book GIVING UP THE GHOST, Sheri Sinykin weaves in the emotions of a young girl who's mother is in remission from cancer, going to help a great-aunt who is dying, and the ghost of a young girl. All these elements work to make a very compelling story.

Thirteen-year-old Davina is scared of many things. One of her biggest fears is that her mother's cancer will return.

That summer Davina and her parents go to help her elderly Aunt Mari with in-care home hospice care. This only increases Davina's fears. And to make matters worse is Emilie, the ghost of a 19th century young Creole girl who lives in her great-aunt's deserted plantation. Emilie wants Davia to be her friend. But Davina finds Emilie to be spoiled and unpredictable. While her aunt's health deteriorates, they both grow closer. Aunt Mari tells stories of sudden ends and regrets. Also she tells Davina she needs to help Emilie in order to release her spirit from Belle Foret.

I love how the author deals with death in this story. Especially with how a teen would feel about ovarian cancer. I felt the emotions of Davina were very realistic. Another thing I liked was how Davina wasn't afraid to be with her aunt even when she knew she'd die. Together they helped each other face their fears. Davina also learns a valuable lesson from Emilie, one that sets both of them free.

This story addresses a paranormal theme in a whole different light. I loved the premise of a haunted Louisiana plantation with secrets. I recommend this book to those who are looking for a paranormal story with a twist. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

GIVING UP THE GHOST is a Cybils nominated book.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Dec. 7th, 2007 07:37 am (UTC)
Thank You!
I was just on your blog the other day, reading your review of Debbie Jacobs' CHOICES, so it was a surprise and a thrill to come back today and see GIVING UP THE GHOST reviewed as well.

I'm so glad you appreciated Davia's journey--emotional and literal--and are recommending it.

All best,
Sheri Sinykin
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )