Sunday, June 10, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Ebenezer's Locker

Ebenezer's Locker by Anne E. Johnson is a fast-paced, humorous, and spooky middle grade mystery. With such delightful elements as ghostly messages written on paper towels in a school restroom, an out-of-body time travel experience, and a secret buried beneath a present-day teacher's lounge, how could it miss? I enjoyed the first-person narration from the POV of spunky sixth grader Rhonda Zymler. The friendship between Rhonda and her two best friends, Ashley and Mica, is believable and adds to the fun. Classmates, school staff, and neighbors (including the class computer whiz, a young lawyer-to-be, an aging psychic, and the school custodian/archivist) round out the cast of human characters. There are a couple of memorable ghostly characters, too. This is a good pick for kids who like "haunted school" stories and can handle a little scariness.

It's possible that not everyone will find this particular passage as funny as I did, but this made me laugh because it reminded me of a conversation I overheard between my daughter and her friends when they were about Rhonda's age:

 Poor Tallulah looked like she'd sent her own spirit into the next world .... 
"Does she need her heart pills, or something?" I whispered. 
"She has heart pills?" Ashley asked.
"How should I know? Don't all old people have heart pills?"

Here's the back cover copy:

A hundred years ago, Corbin Elementary School's building housed Dr. Ebenezer Corbin's School for Psychical Research. It seems that a couple of old spirits are still wandering the halls. It's up to Rhonda Zymler to find out what they want.
Ebenezer's Locker follows the adventures of Rhonda, a sassy sixth-grader who's having trouble finding her place and identity. Getting to know these spirits becomes Rhonda's quest. The more she digs, the more perilous her task becomes, and to complete it she must take two trips back in time. This story blends the realities of an economically challenged modern American town with supernatural elements. What Rhonda finds not only gives her life a sense of purpose but changes the fortunes of her entire town.
Currently, Ebenezer's Locker is available in all e-book formats from Amazon and MuseItUp Publishing.

Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays is a meme started by the wonderful Shannon Messenger, author of Keeper of the Lost Cities.  If you want to join the fun, e-mail Shannon Messenger at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com.with a link to your blog and the title of the middle grade book you're featuring. Put MMGM in the subject line. Please email her by Sunday night to be mentioned in her Monday post. Visit Shannon's blog for more details and for a list of participants with links.


Ms. Yingling said...

Argh. This looks good but my library is not at a place where we can support e books yet. I need to figure out a way to let my students who have e readers know about books that are published only in this format. Hmmm.

Vonna said...

Ha! I love the idea of an old secret hidden beneath a modern-day teacher's lounge! sounds like a fun read.

Pat McDermott said...

This sounds like a great read for grown-ups who like "haunted school" stories too! I did find the passage you quoted funny, Ruth. Always a treat to discover an author who can get inside young minds so well. Best to you and your writing, Anne!

Anne Duguid Knol said...

Great review and so well deserved. Ebenezer's Locker is one of my favourite books this year. Fast-paced and funny, it certainly gave me some hysterical laugh out loud moments especially as I'm one of the oldies who all have heart pills.

Barbara Watson said...

Love middle grade mysteries! But neither my kids nor I have an e-reader...yet. We day soon.

Melanie Conklin said...

I found that passage pretty darn funny as well.

Ruth Donnelly said...

Ms Yingling, wonder if the school website would let you link to an outside site? You could post a little list of recommendations from time to time.

It is a fun read, Vonna.

Pat, Annie, and Melanie, I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds youthful ageism funny. I figure I'm old enough. Kind of like, if you're blonde, you're allowed to laugh at blonde jokes.

Barbara, I've had mine since Christmas, and I love its portability. Now I'm never without a book. Also like being able to change the font to suit my needs.

Mirka Breen said...

I'm so glad I love MG. This one sounds wonderfully scarily tingly.

Ruth Schiffmann said...

Thanks for the great review. This one's already on my list!

Andrea Mack said...

This sounds like a fun read! I'll definitely be looking for it.