Harper doesn’t trust her new home from the moment she steps inside, and the rumors are that the Raine family’s new house is haunted. Harper isn’t sure she believes those rumors, until her younger brother, Michael, starts acting strangely.
The new kid at school is forced to combat malevolent spirits and save her younger brother from demonic possession. Sound a little familiar? Perhaps. However, beneath the surface, Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh (co-founder of We Need Diverse Books) skillfully weaves a creepy tale rich in ancient Korean cultural traditions set against the modern Korean-American experience. The result is a fresh twist to the tried-and-true exorcism beat and, quite simply, a story that’ll scare your Halloween socks off!
Having to deal not only with the pressures of being at a new school, 12-year-old Harper Raine also has to process the creepy vibes given off by her family’s new home – a house that everyone says is haunted. In standard horror fashion, those rumors appear to hold truth. Harper’s brother Michael quickly befriends an oddly never-present playmate and soon an inky uneasiness and dread begins to bleed through the lives of the Raine family. Witnessing her brother’s changing behavior fills Harper with a weighted sense of déjà vu. As she slowly begins to sift through repressed memories of earlier traumatic experiences, Harper realizes that these memories might just hold the key to saving Michael.
With a diverse cast of characters you will care about and a respectful incorporation of Korean and Jamaican traditions, Spirit Hunters definitely breaks the mold of juvenile ghost stories. Part mystery, part thriller – and all horror – this middle grade read provides the perfect scare for the season!