Lily's Ghosts by Laura Ruby

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Lily is Furious.

She can't believe she has to move again after her mom's break-up with the latest loser boyfriend. Now they're broke and they'll have to spend the winter in Uncle Wes's creepy house in Cape May, New Jersey.

And the place is crawling with ghosts.

From the spiteful teenager who mistakes Lily for her high school nemesis to the restless spirit of her eccentric Uncle Max, Lily is haunted by a host of unhappy phantoms. But why are they here? And what do they want?

With the help of some mysterious clues, Lily and an intriguing new friend, local boy Vaz, uncover a sinister plot. If they don't foil the villainous plan in time, they may end up doing some haunting of their own.

Reviews and Awards:

"A slightly spooky, romantic mystery. This should be a movie just so ‘tweens and teens will come ask for the book." -- Kirkus Reviews (this text refers to the hardcover edition)

"Readers will keep turning pages to get to the (surprise) ending, but also because they'll be rooting for something good to happen to Lily." -- Miami Herald (this text refers to the hardcover edition)

* An Edgar Award Nominee for Best Juvenile Mystery
* A Parent's Choice Silver Honor for Fiction
* The Center for Children's Books Best Books of the Year List
* One of the Chicago Public Library's "Best of the Best"
* One of the New York Public Library's Books for the Teenage
* A Sunshine State Award Book
* A Garden State Book Award Nominee
* A Rhode Island State Award Nominee

From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8-A cast of eccentric characters plays out this intriguing story, which opens with an enticing description of Cape May, NJ, and the hint that ghosts might be hovering about. Lily, 13, and her mother have just moved to this shore community after her mother's breakup with her latest boyfriend. They take up residence in the old Victorian home owned by her mom's Uncle Wes, a relative with whom they have had little contact. Very soon, inexplicable things begin to happen: strange phone calls, objects changing location, jam in her shoes. Before long, Lily realizes that she is being haunted, and she resolves to solve a mystery from the past that involves her uncle's house and several of her relatives. The story shifts back and forth between her reality and a parallel world inhabited by ghosts, giving the book multiple dimensions and keeping readers guessing. A likable character, Lily is curious and courageous in her attempts to get to the bottom of things. A friendship develops between her and a local boy who helps her in her quest for the truth. Readers will be hooked right up to the surprising ending.
Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

"Ruby doesn't horrify so much as she insinuates in gracefully nuanced language that provides chilling support for the action. Make room for this first novel on the surefire ghost tale shelf." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"A fast-paced, comic tale." -- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"A spirited novel.. Readers will fly through the pages." -- Chicago Sun-Times

"Satisfying. A good bet for girls ages 10 through 14." -- Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Sure to delight the reader…will tickle readers’ funny bones." -- Detroit Free Press


The breathing got louder and louder and louder, huffing into panting, panting into roaring, until she had to clap her hands over her ears to drown it out. Vaz grabbed one of her wrists dragged her out the back door to the deck, slamming the door shut with his foot.

"Oh, man," he said, shaking his head. "You got ghosts."

About the Author:

Originally from the East Coast, Laura Ruby lives in Chicago area with her husband and two cats. She cannot be sure how many ghosts live with them.


About Laura Ruby

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Laura Ruby is a Chicago-based writer who is also the author of Lily's Ghosts, The Wall and the Wing, and Good Girls, as well as short fiction for adults.
Published April 12, 2011 by Metro Books. 280 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Horror. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lily's Ghosts

Kirkus Reviews

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“Computer Geek,” Lily’s name for Mom’s most recent fling, dumped them, and Mom’s ancestral home in Cape May, New Jersey, is the only place left to go.

| Read Full Review of Lily's Ghosts


There are in fact parallel stories being told: Lily's story and the story of the ghosts who live in Cape May. Both stories are sad at times, with lost souls looking for something that will give their existence (or the end of their existence) some meaning.

Sep 01 2005 | Read Full Review of Lily's Ghosts

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