Friday, May 24, 2024

The Ghost of Whispering Willow ~ Lone Star Book Blog Tours Review & Giveaway!

THE GHOST OF
WHISPERING WILLOW
Second Edition
by AMANDA M. THRASHER

Children's Chapter Book / Fantasy / Paranormal

Publisher: Progressive Rising Phoenix Press

Page Count: 246

Publication Date: January 9, 2024


SYNOPSIS

Stewart sees a ghostly figure out of the corner of his eye. He and his friend, Andy, begin a ghost investigation that leads to an adventure of a lifetime.  Coming face-to-face with a ghost, the boys make a decision to join forces with a group of girls, who have encountered a ghost of their own. The kids soon find that the ghosts that they've encountered are in imminent danger and need their help. Can the kids devise a plan to help the ghost in time? Will they be able to reunite a ghost with his lost family? Complete with a ghost village and a feud, this story takes on a life of its own.





HALL WAYS BOOK REVIEW:  What a fun story! The Ghost of Whispering Willow offers spine-tingling adventure and mystery with a what-if plot that will keep readers turning pages. 

What if there are spirits who exist between the living and the dead and have unknown purposes to fulfill before moving on to rest in peace? Author Amanda Thrasher spins a tale around two such characters, but in an unusual twist, these spirits are corporeal, and their daily rituals mirror those of the living. (Personally, that would be hell to me if even in the afterlife, I have to do laundry and cook meals. I digress.) This added an extra level of intrigue -- and danger -- to the storyline.
"How come they do everything as a group, including dirty looks?"
If you've read any of Thrasher's other books for younger readers (I'm a huge fan of The Mischief Series), you know that she nails the youngling personae. Through well-written dialogue, I could easily imagine the gaggle of girls interacting with the pack of boys and the terms they create for teaming up for a common cause. The diverse group of tweens in The Ghost of Whispering Willow are drawn perfectly and reminded me of my own junior high days (sneaking out and all) as well as my days teaching kids that age.  Thrasher is all about modeling how loyalty and friendship should be, and it's a real treat to read. (Even if the parent in me is VERY concerned about all the sneaking out! Danger! Danger!)

This edition of The Ghost of Whispering Willow is updated from the original 2012 edition, and I love the new cover (but truly, I loved the old one, too). I was surprised to see some scattered typos (especially in the last twenty-five pages), and I would have liked more showing and less telling; there were a lot of summative paragraphs. But I understand that to do so effectively would have doubled the size of the book, and then it might have been a bit much for the targeted age group. I get that, but I know I wanted more, especially after the build up to that heartwarming, perfect resolution.

The ending of The Ghost of Whispering Willow hits readers with a rapid-fire frenzy of events that had my pulse pounding and then my heart melting. This is a terrific reading escape that I recommend for sixth graders and older. 

I am pleased to own a cherished autographed copy of this book that the author gave me at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning author Amanda M. Thrasher was born in England and moved to Texas, where she lives with her family. She writes YA, general fiction, middle-grade, early reader chapter, and picture books. She is the founder and CEO of Progressive Rising Phoenix Press.

AMANDA M. THRASHER

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