The Ghost of Spruce Point

by Nancy Tandon (Author)

Reading Level: 4th − 5th Grade

A young boy must unravel a curse to save his family's beloved Maine motel in this spooky middle grade novel sure to delight fans of Whispering Pines and The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street!

Twelve-year-old Parker has grown up in his family's Home Away Inn, nestled on a wooded peninsula in Maine called Spruce Point. His best friend, Frankie, has been staying at the inn every summer for years with her family. Together, they've had epic adventures based out of a nearby old treehouse that serves as their official headquarters for Kids Confidential Meetings.

But lately, business at the inn hasn't been great, and Parker is pretty sure he knows why. It's long been rumored that Mrs. Gruvlig, one of the few year-rounders on Spruce Point, has unique abilities of the supernatural kind. And Frankie is absolutely sure she saw a ghost on Mrs. Gruvlig's property! As more and more spooky happenings occur around the Point, Parker and Frankie are convinced Spruce Point has been officially cursed.

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Kirkus Reviews

Kids tackle problems both supernatural and real in this atmospheric story.

Publishers Weekly

An eerie ghost story morphs into an anthem for cooperation amid climate change in Tandon's (The Way I Say It) camaraderie-filled Maine mystery. "Particular and thorough" Parker Emerton, 12, loves his adoptive family's secluded inn home, but with rising sea levels eroding coastal tourism, his parents fear having to give it up for jobs in Boston. Calling a secret tree house meeting with his cousins and best friend, Parker plots to save the beloved Home Away Inn, suggesting advertising and cooking classes, winning a fair prize for pumpkins... and breaking the curse of an ancient local shipwreck. After storms surge and unexplained green lights flash, the kids contact the ghostly young wanderer that haunts a crotchety neighbor's yard, but when the figure reveals more questions than answers, the kids pit their ingenuity against the inn's nebulous curse. Urgent present-tense narration and abundant sensory details initially establish a skin-crawling atmosphere, but a realistic, friendship-centric feel soon dominates the tightly paced narrative, and the young investigators' idealistic tenacity results in a supernaturally tinged mystery with a summer camp vibe. All main characters cue as white. Ages 8-12. Agent: Emma Sector, Prospect Agency. (Aug)

Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Nancy Tandon
Nancy Tandon is a former teacher and speech/language pathologist who now writes for children full time. Her work has been awarded by the Shoreline Arts Alliance and New England Chapter of SCBWI.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Aladdin Paperbacks
Publication date
August 20, 2022
BISAC categories
JUV001000 - Juvenile Fiction | Action & Adventure
JUV028000 - Juvenile Fiction | Mysteries, Espionage, & Detective Stories
JUV018000 - Juvenile Fiction | Horror
JUV069000 - Juvenile Fiction | Ghost Stories
Library of Congress categories
Ghost stories
Hotels, motels, etc
Blessing and cursing

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