Synopses & Reviews
Newbery Medalist Avi weaves one of his most suspenseful and scary tales--about a ghost who has to be seen to be believed and must be kept from carrying out a horrifying revenge.
The time is 1872. The place is New York City. Horace Carpetine has been raised to believe in science and rationality. So as apprentice to Enoch Middleditch, a society photographer, he thinks of his trade as a scientific art. But when wealthy society matron Mrs. Frederick Von Macht orders a photographic portrait, strange things begin to happen.
Horace's first real photographs reveal a frightful likeness: it's the image of the Von Machts' dead daughter, Eleanora.
Pegg, the Von Machts' black servant girl, then leads him to the truth about who Eleanora really was and how she actually died. Joined in friendship, Pegg and Horace soon realize that his photographs are evoking both Eleanora's image and her ghost. Eleanora returns, a vengeful wraith intent on punishing those who abused her.
Rich in detail, full of the magic of early photography, here is a story about the shadows, visible and invisible, that are always lurking near.
“In perhaps his best work yet, Avi has created a truly chilling tale that will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned and the lights are turned out.” Children's Literature
“An intriguing ghost story. Details about photographic processes add authenticity, while the books somber ending will leave spines tingling.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“This tale proves that the time-honored ghost story, capably researched, well-paced and fusing the Gothic elements of mystery, madness and romance, can still thrill in the hands of a skilled craftsman.” Kirkus Reviews
Horace Carpetine does not believe in ghosts.
Raised to believe in science and reason, Horace Carpetine passes off spirits as superstition. Then he becomes an apprentice photographer and discovers an eerie—and even dangerous—supernatural power in his very own photographs.
When a wealthy lady orders a portrait to place by her daughter's gravesite, Horace's employer, Enoch Middleditch, schemes to sell her more pictures—by convincing her that her daughter's ghost has appeared in the ones he's already taken.
It's Horace's job to create images of the girl. Yet Horace somehow captures the girl's spirit along with her likeness. And when the spirit escapes the photographs, Horace discovers he's released a ghost bent on a deadly revenge. . . .
About the Author
Avi is the author of the Newbery Medal-winning Crispin: The Cross of Lead and the Newbery Honor Books Nothing But the Truthand The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. He also writes the beloved Poppy stories, an animal adventure series that includes Ragweed; Poppy, winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award; Poppy and Rye; Ereth's Birthday; Poppy's Return; and Poppy and Ereth. His many other critically acclaimed books include Don't You Know There's a War On?, the hilarious animal fantasy The Mayor of Central Park, and the Victorian ghost story The Seer of Shadows. Avi lives in Denver, Colorado.