By: Lindsay Currie
Published on: September 1, 2020
This one gave me chills. If you are looking for some serious middle grade spooks, then this is for you. The amazing cover has the phrase “Something Terrible Followed Her Home” and indeed it did. There is no “Friendly Ghost” in this story, Claire is clearly being haunted.
I’ve known about the Great Chicago Fire since I was young. However, I never knew how many other horrific tragedies this city has faced. In Scritch Scratch, Claire’s father has a ghost bus tour where he visits potentially haunted sites. Silly me was curious to know more about all the places they visited on the tour and as a result I spent way too much time on the Internet reading about these tragedies. So beware of what you may be getting into when starting this book. It can become so much more than this one story.
The main plot follows Claire who is required to help her dad out on his ghost tour one night even though she thinks it is embarrassing and not scientific. But between stops she sees a young boy among the seats that she can’t remembering counting in her numbers (as per the job her dad gave her at the beginning of the tour). Then, he is gone. But as the days progress she slowly begins to realize it has followed her home and is haunting her in ways that are fairly scary.
Scritch Scratch is a very good middle grade horror book. What I loved is that it wasn’t a fake haunting. In the context of the story, it was serious and very real and Claire finds she needs her brother and her friends (both old and new) to help figure out who is haunting her and why. What I also loved was how the author was able to blend Chicago history into it, which gave it a very authentic feel. On the flip side, I may now be a little too scared to visit Chicago again.
This is a terrific book and one worth reading if you get the chance. Highly recommended to fans of Small Spaces as well as anyone wishing to learn a lot about Chicago history. In addition, I also wish to congratulate the cover artist for a very stunning cover.
Rating: 5 stars
Thank you Sourcebooks and Netgalley for the advanced reader copy and opportunity to provide an honest review.
For fans of Small Spaces comes a chilling ghost story about a malevolent spirit, an unlucky girl, and a haunting mystery that will tie the two together.
Claire has absolutely no interest in the paranormal. She’s a scientist, which is why she can’t think of anything worse than having to help out her dad on one of his ghost-themed Chicago bus tours. She thinks she’s made it through when she sees a boy with a sad face and dark eyes at the back of the bus. There’s something off about his presence, especially because when she checks at the end of the tour…he’s gone.
Claire tries to brush it off, she must be imagining things, letting her dad’s ghost stories get the best of her. But then the scratching starts. Voices whisper to her in the dark. The number 396 appears everywhere she turns. And the boy with the dark eyes starts following her.
Claire is being haunted. The boy from the bus wants something…and Claire needs to find out what before it’s too late.