A Haunting in Penn’s Woods by Rebecca Bartlett

ImageAlthough this book is categorized as a middle grade novel, this middle-aged adult loved it. Mrs. Bartlett does an excellent job of putting us into the head of eleven year old Mars and the difficulties he faces moving to a new town. 

The writing isn’t dumbed down for younger readers which made it enjoyable reading and would expand a younger reader’s vocabulary. There were several times when a character would use a word some adults might think to advance for an eleven year that another character would question its meaning, which made this reviewer smile. These instances make the realistic actions and conversations the eleven year olds in this story have realistic.

I also liked how aware Mars was of his parents and the thoughts he had about their relationship, and turmoil they were putting him through. His thoughts towards Amelia, a crippled friend he reluctantly makes, illuminated the differences in how boys and girls think and were smile invoking.

Anyone looking for a book to take them back to their youth, or have children this age, will enjoy reading this book. Middle grade readers will be trapped within the pages of the book for hours at a time. I look forward to reading more of Mrs. Bartlett’s books.

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