King & Kayla and the Case of the Downstairs Ghost (King & Kayla #10)

by Dori Hillestad Butler (Author) Nancy Meyers (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Series: King & Kayla

Jillian thinks there's a ghost in her basement. King and Kayla know that ghosts aren't real, but what is making that dark shape and that scary noise?

King and Kayla are going to a sleepover at Thor and Jillian's house. King LOVES sleepovers. They're his favorite thing! And he particularly likes Jillian's basement, because animals are allowed on the furniture. But Jillian and Thor are afraid to go downstairs because there's big, dark blob that goes "Whoooooo!" and chases her around the basement.

Kayla's not worried; she wants to know what's happening downstairs. With her intrepid co-detective, she investigates the weird sights and sounds and solves the mystery--but not before an encounter with Cat with No Name and a run-in with a skunk.

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Meyers' digital cartoon vignettes are a pleasing blend of sweetness, humor, and a touch of suspense. Beginning readers will enjoy the fast-moving plot and unexpected twists.

School Library Journal

Gr 1-3--King the friendly dog and his human Kayla are excited to have a sleepover with Jillian and her own fun-loving canine Thor. The only problem is the ghost in the basement! The group of friends goes on an adventure to where the spooky ghost dwells, looking and listening for clues as shadows caress the walls and "wooooooo" sounds are heard by each character, but only while the lights are off. Is there really a ghost, or is someone (or something) playing a trick on the sleepover crew? Simple illustrations guide readers through this beginning chapter book and pair nicely with Butler's candid, straightforward text. VERDICT This not-too-spooky ghost story is the ideal choice for newly independent readers and lovers of mysteries.--Kerra Mazzariello

Copyright 2023 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Dori Hillestad Butler
Dori Hillestad Butler has published magazine stories, educational materials, plays, book reviews, characters for a board game, and over sixty children's books. A two-time Geisel Honor Book winner for King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats and King & Kayla and the Case of the Lost Tooth, she has also been nominated for children's choice awards in nineteen different states and won the 2011 Edgar Award for the best juvenile mystery for Buddy Files: Case of the Lost Boy. She lives in Washington.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Peachtree Publishers
Publication date
January 02, 2024
King & Kayla
BISAC categories
JUV002070 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Dogs
JUV028000 - Juvenile Fiction | Mysteries, Espionage, & Detective Stories
JUV044000 - Juvenile Fiction | Readers | Intermediate
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
Mystery and detective stories
Ghost stories
Human-animal communication

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