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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Haint Misbehavin' - Maureen Hardegree (Young Adult)

Released June 2010

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Haint Misbehavin', part one of Maureen Hardegree's Ghost Handler Series, introduces fourteen-year-old Heather Tildy. When she finally gets her period, she develops the ability to see and communicate with ghosts.

Her first ghost is a ten-year-old girl named Amy. Amy's full of mischief and gets Heather into trouble more than once. Amy bores easily and loves meddling. Ghost Amy spends her time playing matchmaker or harassing Heather's sister's best friend. Worse, Amy will not tell Heather what she wants or needs in order to go away for good.

While Amazon lists the book for children ages 9 to 12, I have to disagree. The book's heroine is 14 and situations like teen drinking and dating do appear in the story. Haint Misbehavin' is definitely better suited to the 13 and older crowd.

The debut in this series is a great start. It sets the stage for potential high school romance, develops a strong bond between Heather and her sisters. Best of all, it creates a series that is perfect for teens who loved Ghost Whisperer. It's the same premise, but the younger characters make it easier for teens to relate to.

I had to laugh at the description of their Beagle, Roquefort's, extreme dislike of hats. I had a Beagle who was terrified of people wearing hats. Put a hat on and she'd bark and growl non-stop until the hat came off. I also laughed at the description of the "crazy Beagle runs" because ours did that after baths, running like crazy around the living room. Little details of that nature made the book very endearing.

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