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Trace

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Trace PDF, ePub eBook In a debut novel that's perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Erin Entrada Kelly, award-winning author/illustrator and educator Pat Cummings tells a poignant story about grief, love, and the untold stories that echo across time.  Trace Carter doesn’t know how to feel at ease in his new life in New York. Even though his artsy Auntie Lea is cool, her brownstone still isn’t h In a debut novel that's perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Erin Entrada Kelly, award-winning author/illustrator and educator Pat Cummings tells a poignant story about grief, love, and the untold stories that echo across time.  Trace Carter doesn’t know how to feel at ease in his new life in New York. Even though his artsy Auntie Lea is cool, her brownstone still isn’t his home. Haunted by flashbacks of the accident that killed his parents, the best he can do is try to distract himself from memories of the past. But the past isn’t done with him. When Trace takes a wrong turn in the New York Public Library, he finds someone else lost in the stacks with him: a crying little boy, wearing old, tattered clothes. And though at first he can’t quite believe he’s seen a ghost, Trace soon discovers that the boy he saw has ties to Trace’s own history—and that he himself may be the key to setting the dead to rest.

30 review for Trace

  1. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    I feel like ghost stories don’t command the respect they used to. Can anyone seriously contest that they aren’t popular? When I was a kid, the Scholastic Book Club flyer always featured at least one Apple paperback that was ghost related. Inevitably written by a Willo Davis Roberts or a Mary Downing Hahn or a Betty Ren Wright, they were a consistent source of safe spooks. I trusted ghost stories. Loved them even. But these days no one’s really made a concentrated effort to create a creepy brand I feel like ghost stories don’t command the respect they used to. Can anyone seriously contest that they aren’t popular? When I was a kid, the Scholastic Book Club flyer always featured at least one Apple paperback that was ghost related. Inevitably written by a Willo Davis Roberts or a Mary Downing Hahn or a Betty Ren Wright, they were a consistent source of safe spooks. I trusted ghost stories. Loved them even. But these days no one’s really made a concentrated effort to create a creepy brand like that. Our creepy isn’t creepy anymore. Sure, you’ll get the occasional Lockwood & Company series, but that’s once in a blue moon. And so the 9-year-old inside of me waits, not so patiently, for new ghost stories all the time. Now Trace by Pat Cummings is probably too long and complex a book to have fit within that Apple paperback model of yore, but when it comes to hauntings, it ranks right up there with the best of them. If small sobbing ghosts and ancient fires sound like your cup of tea, add in a little jolt of trauma and you’ll find a friend in Trace. What do you do when you see a ghost? Not a big scary sheet that flies around saying “Boo” or anything. More like a boy. A little boy, with a runny nose, who appears to only Chase. Chase knows a thing or two about death. His parents died pretty recently and now he lives in New York City with his cool Auntie Lea. This is new to him and new to her, and his problems aren’t being helped much by the appearance of this little ghost. For some reason it appears to him best inside the Main location of New York Public Library. To solve the mystery, Trace isn’t just going to have to go into the ghost’s history. He’s going to go into his own, and what he finds may be just what he needs. Why do kids like ghost stories and why do adults? And is it for the same reasons at all? The danger with any ghost story is that it makes for a useful literary device. So when adults use ghosts, like in Toni Morrison’s Beloved, it both fulfills our ancient fear of the unknown and provides a perfect metaphor. Now I’m not saying that Trace is the middle grade equivalent of Beloved, though there are certain similarities. Black family history. Personal tragedy. Ghost children. Overwhelming grief. But to her credit Pat Cummings also makes sure to put in plenty of the ghost stuff that kids want. Which is to say, the hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck-going-up spookiness. There’s the initial appearance of the little ghost boy in the stacks. There’s an encounter in the library involving ghostly flames and heat. And then there are the more eerie moments. An old woman at a party showing up later in an ancient photograph. The reveal that Trace got out of a sinking car where every window and door was sealed closed. This isn’t a jump scare book. It’s more akin to the Twilight Zone than Poltergeist, but that doesn’t matter. If you write ghosts, kids will come. Cummings makes the interesting choice of starting out the book with Trace as a pretty darn unlikeable kid. Sure, he’s been through trauma, but when you’re writing a novel, there’s an instinct to make your hero relatable right from the get-go. Cummings holds back a bit, at least at first. Trace is sinking, and he isn’t doing anything to save himself. You can hardly blame the other kids in his group project for disliking him since he’s been blowing off work for a while. But what’s the number one way to get an audience to identify with a character? Make them the subject of unfair treatment. So as more events conspire against Trace, you feel for him. And even as that happens, Cummings slowly reveals his backstory with a little piece here and a little piece there. Therapy sessions can make for dull reading, but they can also be magnificent expository delivery systems. Does Trace seem to recover a bit quickly from his own personal trauma in this story? You betcha. But at least you get the sense that he may still have some work to do in the future as well. Confession: I have a personal connection to this book. That makes reviewing it a bit weird, but does it help at all that I didn’t remember the connection until I was done? Years ago I used to work in the main location of New York Public Library. For fun, I liked to show folks the “stacks” which is the fascinating interior and underground portions of the library where all the Reference books were kept. One of the people I showed around was author Pat Cummings, and along the way we got to talking about the old Colored Orphan Asylum. Pat had read somewhere that the library was built on top of the Asylum’s ashes, but any map will show you that this was impossible. Go into the depths of the library today and you can see the real structure that existed before the library came into existence: the reservoir. Those ancient stones provide the foundation for much of the library today. So as I read this and discovered that Pat had used some creative license to reposition the Asylum under the library, I was surprised. Unfortunately, the version of the book that I was reading didn’t include the Acknowledgments at the back, and I couldn’t very well critique the book if I didn’t have all of it in front of me. You can imagine my relief then when I got ahold of a final copy and read the very first lines in the Acknowledgment section where Pat declares the Asylum’s location in the book to be “not true”, following it up with, “But if you’ve ever visited the shadowy stacks below that Fifth Avenue landmark, it would be easy to believe that ghosts wander among its shelves of exiled books.” Smells nice too, by the way. No one ever mentions that. Too often, ghosts get confined to countrysides. Meanwhile, you have places like New York City where the history just piles up on top of itself, year after year after year. In her Acknowledgments Cumming writes, “Reality is a slippery thing.” Nowhere is that more true than in the stories we tell about ourselves and about the ghosts of our past that continue to haunt us. With Trace, Ms. Cummings takes time to examine what we owe our ancestors, even as we try to live our daily lives. We live with their decisions, whether we want to or not, and sometimes we relive their mistakes. Reading this book, young readers will encounter a more thoughtful ghost story than those I downed so mindlessly in the past. It’s a ghost story that asks you to stop and listen to the voices that are dead but not gone. Who are the ghosts that haunt your story? And what are they trying to tell you? For ages 9-12.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Laina SpareTime

    I got 2% in and the teacher being fat was mentioned 3 times. For instance: "The teacher had squeezed her wide hips into the swivel chair behind her desk, a chair that had long ago surrendered under the weight of her failed diets. Listing to one side, it creaked in pain as, with a weary sigh, the teacher leveled her eyes upon him and rested her chins atop the vase." I search her name and it's all about how disgusting she is that she got a cold. Yeah, this one isn't for me.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC from Edelweiss Plus Trace lives with his Auntie Lea in New York after the car accident that took his parents' lives and left him with PTSD and a lot of guilt. His aunt isn't a textbook parent, but she surrounds Trace with a support community and also makes sure that he sees Dr. Proctor, a therapist who is helping him with his grief. He has friends at school, and when his class is doing projects on the 1800s, he has a good group that includes his best friend Ty. When he goes to meet the grou E ARC from Edelweiss Plus Trace lives with his Auntie Lea in New York after the car accident that took his parents' lives and left him with PTSD and a lot of guilt. His aunt isn't a textbook parent, but she surrounds Trace with a support community and also makes sure that he sees Dr. Proctor, a therapist who is helping him with his grief. He has friends at school, and when his class is doing projects on the 1800s, he has a good group that includes his best friend Ty. When he goes to meet the group at the New York Public Library, he ends up in a restricted level, following a ragged four year old who is crying. Eventually, he meets a man named Dallas Houston who tells him that he, too, has seen the ghost of the child. When Ms. Levy, Trace's school librarian, mentions a fire at the Colored Orphanage Asylum that occurred during the time period his group is studying, Trace looks into it and realizes that Cholly might have perished in that event. Family papers from a great aunt's estate shed more light on Trace's family ties to it, and add a lot of interesting information to his project! Strengths: I had never heard of the Draft Riots, but now I want to find a nonfiction book on the topic! The history was woven into the narrative very nicely. I was very glad to see that for once, a grieving child is receiving therapy to help deal with problems. That is very, very rare. The friend group is nicely portrayed, and there is even a light romantic angle. Presley and her big words are quite fun, and I love that the teacher uses the word absquatulate, which was a favorite of my students from our word-a-day calendar this year! Weaknesses: This had a lot of coincidences that seem unlikely, and Trace at one point supposes that his aunt's friends might be lesbians in an odd, out-of-nowhere way. What I really think: Debating. This has a decent mystery, but an Avi Something Upstairs sort, rather than the murder mystery type that my students always request.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Dulaney

    Great middle grades selection with a mix of ghost story, tragedy and friend drama rounded out with a touch of sad-happy/feel-good thrown in. Trace is still deeply traumatized by his parents’s death and struggling to fit in at his new school as well as find his way in seeing his ditzy aunt in her new role as his guardian. Cummings gives readers a very likeable main character who reveals strong emotions and behaves in a way that most 5th-8th graders will understand. Strong supporting characters ma Great middle grades selection with a mix of ghost story, tragedy and friend drama rounded out with a touch of sad-happy/feel-good thrown in. Trace is still deeply traumatized by his parents’s death and struggling to fit in at his new school as well as find his way in seeing his ditzy aunt in her new role as his guardian. Cummings gives readers a very likeable main character who reveals strong emotions and behaves in a way that most 5th-8th graders will understand. Strong supporting characters make this a solid fiction choice for that age group. The book is free of profanity and violence, but does have one passage when Trace muses about the sexual orientation of two of his aunt’s friends and wonders, if they are lesbians, what they “do together.” This small passage in no way connects to the plot and is likely included to demonstrate diversity among the book’s characters which is already done very smoothly as racial differences abound in the author’s cast. Thanks for the dARC, Edelweiss.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jennybeast

    Starts out with a semi-typical kid surviving loss and massive displacement, getting used to a new school, but quickly introduces some genuinely creepy ghost encounters, that then weave throughout the book. Masterful storytelling that allows Trace's relationships to slowly unfold as he gets used to his new surroundings. Trace is a middle-schooler (12? I think? 6th or 7th grader? I can't remember if this was specified), who has just been picked to lead a group project on the the decade of US histo Starts out with a semi-typical kid surviving loss and massive displacement, getting used to a new school, but quickly introduces some genuinely creepy ghost encounters, that then weave throughout the book. Masterful storytelling that allows Trace's relationships to slowly unfold as he gets used to his new surroundings. Trace is a middle-schooler (12? I think? 6th or 7th grader? I can't remember if this was specified), who has just been picked to lead a group project on the the decade of US history in the 1860s. The group project ends up leading him to the New York Public Library, where Trace has an experience that alienates him from his classmates and shakes up his understanding of the world. I don't want to put spoilers in here, because there's some interesting and delicate plot shifts, and it's cool to see everything gradually connect. Highlights for me: Trace's colorful aunt, with her eclectic crowd of Brooklyn friends and her deep love of exploratory cooking; mean girl comeuppance; kids being kids in the awkward beginning of romance age; Trace's journey to healing as he comes to terms with the recent deaths of his parents and his own survival; particularly vivid and sometimes dreamlike scenes, beautifully conveyed; a really cool take on finding what interests you in history and making it relatable. Enjoyable read. Advanced Reader's copy provided by Edelweiss.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Farr

    Find my full review here: http://www.yabookscentral.com/kidsfic... TRACE is a book about healing. Trace lives with his Auntie Lea after his parents died in a car accident which he miraculously survived. He is floundering a bit in school and life, mainly due to PTSD symptoms that have him remembering and reliving the car accident. He visits a psychologist, Dr. Proctor, who helps him to cope with these feelings. He has recently been assigned a school project to study and present the 1860s to his cl Find my full review here: http://www.yabookscentral.com/kidsfic... TRACE is a book about healing. Trace lives with his Auntie Lea after his parents died in a car accident which he miraculously survived. He is floundering a bit in school and life, mainly due to PTSD symptoms that have him remembering and reliving the car accident. He visits a psychologist, Dr. Proctor, who helps him to cope with these feelings. He has recently been assigned a school project to study and present the 1860s to his class. As part of this, he goes to the New York Public Library where he ends up finding a boy crying. He soon notices that the boy is transparent- a ghost. As part of his research, he learns about a riot where people burned down the Colored Orphan Asylum and a child may have died. He digs deeper into this trying to understand if this could be the child who died. As he navigates therapy and his school project, he also learns more about the boy he has seen and his family history. What I loved: The ghost was a relatively small part of the story, but the history lesson was really interesting. We learn a lot through Trace as he investigates. This is also an interesting portrayal of grief, PTSD and the slow recovery of healing in a middle grade book. I really liked how they showed some of the therapy sessions, which is great for young readers to view. There are also some themes about racism in modern (and historical) America. When Trace reports the ghost as a lost child (before he is fully sure that the boy is a ghost) and the security guards cannot find him, they detain him and confiscate his phone. His aunt discusses this with him in a way that young readers can understand. What left me wanting more: There were a few comments that were really unnecessary and I wish had been left out or handled more fully/deeply. The first are around the comments about the librarian and the way the boys talk about her body, which felt unnecessary to her description and a bit close to sexual harassment. The second is when an older woman comments about men in general negatively, and Trace assumes she is a lesbian before she mentions her husband. This is not further explained and seemed a little odd or stereotyping. Final verdict: Overall, this is an interesting story that combines history with the present. The ghost adds an interesting element to the book that gives it an air of mystery. I would recommend for people looking for lightly supernatural stories/mysteries and books about healing.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    A compelling ghost story that neatly weaves in the grief process Trace is going through as he processes his parents' death. Things I loved: Cholly as a little boy ghost was appropriately creepy. Making him very little and sobbing upped the ante for me, allowing him to be enigmatic and confusing in a realistic way, rather than just because we don't want the ghost to tell us everything. The pacing was good, I always wanted to keep reading. The interactions between the middle school characters felt A compelling ghost story that neatly weaves in the grief process Trace is going through as he processes his parents' death. Things I loved: Cholly as a little boy ghost was appropriately creepy. Making him very little and sobbing upped the ante for me, allowing him to be enigmatic and confusing in a realistic way, rather than just because we don't want the ghost to tell us everything. The pacing was good, I always wanted to keep reading. The interactions between the middle school characters felt real, the petty hurts and aggravations, the awkwardness between the kids. While it's a huge coincidence that Trace manages to have the rattle, and the letter, and be in the basement of the NYPL all within a week, I did like that there was a personal connection that helped to explain why Trace was being haunted. Things I wish were slightly different: His aunt was a bit manic pixie, and while I know that people exist in real life that are whimsical and make bosom friends with strangers and whatnot, she sometimes lapsed into a stereotype for me. I didn't like the handful of disdainful references to fatness. It wasn't awful, but it was enough that I noticed. I'm also not sure how I feel about how Trace just assumes that two close friends are lesbians and when one says "all men are dangerous" his first thought is "so she WAS a lesbian". This is immediately followed by the discovery that Vesper has a husband, so it is refuted by the text and part of the point is that several things Trace assumes that day are not true, but it still felt odd to me, and nothing is said to counter the "all lesbians hate men" message that it seems to be sending.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I really, really wanted to like this book. I had high hopes for it and wanted it to be something as magical as Rhodes Ghost Boys . Sadly, this was not that strong of a book. It was still a decent story, but there were times where the characterization faltered and it tried to deal with too many things at once. While Trace is struggling to come to terms with his parents' deaths and his survival after a car crash, his "dealing" with it is glossed over. The ghosts that should be central to the stor I really, really wanted to like this book. I had high hopes for it and wanted it to be something as magical as Rhodes Ghost Boys . Sadly, this was not that strong of a book. It was still a decent story, but there were times where the characterization faltered and it tried to deal with too many things at once. While Trace is struggling to come to terms with his parents' deaths and his survival after a car crash, his "dealing" with it is glossed over. The ghosts that should be central to the story are seen in flashes/glimpses and his thoughts about them are confusing, and written in a way that doesn't help the reader to understand. The strong points of this book are the historical aspects of the 1860s that his class group researches, but the main one (the arson at the Colored Orphans Asylum) isn't completely factual as the author alludes to in her note at the end: there she states that the location she uses in the book (the New York Public Library) is not actually where the orphanage was originally housed, even though that is the crux of her story. So, there's that. Overall, this is an OK book and one to hand to readers who are interested in magical realism and ghosts who aren't scary. I'd say the ideal age would be readers between 5th and 7th. Definitely a second purchase for larger collections.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    I think many young readers will like "Trace", but there were a few things that tripped me up, making it a "3-star" book. After losing both his parents in a car accident, Trace goes to live with his (single) aunt in another city (New York? Bronx? I think I missed that detail). Trace was also a passenger in the car when his parents died, but somehow he walked away largely unscathed -- aside from the nightmares and moments of feeling not quite fully present. Despite his aunt's best intentions, and t I think many young readers will like "Trace", but there were a few things that tripped me up, making it a "3-star" book. After losing both his parents in a car accident, Trace goes to live with his (single) aunt in another city (New York? Bronx? I think I missed that detail). Trace was also a passenger in the car when his parents died, but somehow he walked away largely unscathed -- aside from the nightmares and moments of feeling not quite fully present. Despite his aunt's best intentions, and the fact that he sees a therapist weekly, Trace is not ready to discuss the events of that terrible day -- until he makes an unusual friend and finds another kid who needs his help. Parts of this story are pretty "trippy", for lack of a better word. Often, I was not sure whether Trace was dreaming or fully awake, and that was a bit unsettling. Parts of his aunt's "free" lifestyle concerned me, and made me worry that Trace might be in danger just because of his surroundings. I had to read back and forth several times, because I felt I had missed some piece of important information, only to find it wasn't there at all. Still, it is a story that ends up coming full circle, and the themes of home and family, making new friends, and the main character's perseverance in the face of adversity make this a decent story for middle grade kiddos.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jeannie

    Trace Carter now lives in Brooklyn with his Aunt Lea. He is tormented by dreams of his parent's death and his miraculous, mysterious survival. At first he can't bear to face the tragedy or look at pictures of his parents. His therapist tried to help, but Trace just won't let her. He begins to settle and find friends in school, but it is in the New York Public library where he is research for a school assignment on the 1860's, he meets a ghost of a small child which start to turn him around. Aunt Trace Carter now lives in Brooklyn with his Aunt Lea. He is tormented by dreams of his parent's death and his miraculous, mysterious survival. At first he can't bear to face the tragedy or look at pictures of his parents. His therapist tried to help, but Trace just won't let her. He begins to settle and find friends in school, but it is in the New York Public library where he is research for a school assignment on the 1860's, he meets a ghost of a small child which start to turn him around. Aunt Lea is going through the possessions of a great , great aunt. She is trying to put together a family tree. At first Trace is uncomfortable with this endeavor, but as his research continues he feels that the ghost is tied to his family's past. This is a "ghost "s story, but so much more. Cummings makes real history of New York's past come alive. Trace's grief and healing are so realistic. A very worthwhile book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sunny Lee

    A intricate and poignant coming-of-age tale centered around a boy named Trace grappling with loss, prickly friends, and ghosts!! There’s colorful characters galore, and Trace will have every reader wishing they had their own Aunt Lea! But beneath it all, is a haunting story, expertly dealing with trauma on many levels, from personal demons to historical ones. I loved the authenticity of Trace’s voice, and how he’s unafraid to navigate his thoughts and make sense of the world as he tries to find A intricate and poignant coming-of-age tale centered around a boy named Trace grappling with loss, prickly friends, and ghosts!! There’s colorful characters galore, and Trace will have every reader wishing they had their own Aunt Lea! But beneath it all, is a haunting story, expertly dealing with trauma on many levels, from personal demons to historical ones. I loved the authenticity of Trace’s voice, and how he’s unafraid to navigate his thoughts and make sense of the world as he tries to find his place in it. Highly recommended read! You’ll most likely do some googling, afterwards too—maybe even be so inspired to head over to your local library...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Trace is at a new middle school while living with his aunt in NYC. He wakes up nightly dreaming of the accident that took his parents. While in the library doing research, he hears a child crying. Investigating this, working with his school group, and meeting all sorts of people his aunt brings home, things slowly start to even out and Trace finds he is finally sleeping again. Borderline YA/MG - Trace is a bit old for MG but content and theme wise, upper elementary could handle it. Some kissing, Trace is at a new middle school while living with his aunt in NYC. He wakes up nightly dreaming of the accident that took his parents. While in the library doing research, he hears a child crying. Investigating this, working with his school group, and meeting all sorts of people his aunt brings home, things slowly start to even out and Trace finds he is finally sleeping again. Borderline YA/MG - Trace is a bit old for MG but content and theme wise, upper elementary could handle it. Some kissing, but not a major part of the story.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    I didn’t know much about the book before I started reading, but was soon pulled into Trace’s new life in Brooklyn following the death of his parents. I don’t want to spoil the mystery for you, suffice it to say, Cummings layers characters and clues throughout the story, inviting readers to make the leaps. Whether or not you see the resolution coming, you’ll be left feeling that life is well worth living, that it can be full and vibrant, and that it goes on.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Excellent ghost story of the little boy killed in the Negro Orphan building's burning during the race riots of 1863, as modern-day Trace also adjusts to life without his parents and releases the guilt he has for surviving their accident. Well-written, and the historical aspects were seamlessly incorporated. I also liked Trace's free-spirited Aunt Lea who now takes care of Trace in her own fashion.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Pucciarello

    3.5 Stars. Had a little bit of trouble sticking with this book - while I like that you jump right into the action, you kind of want a little more backstory before having to deal with so many characters in the family tree. Might be worth a reread to see if I'd enjoy it more upon a second reading. Nice mix of mysticism, reality, and mystery.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    completely unbiased here...an incredibly well-written, engrossing read by a super talented author. And here I thought her illustration skills were unparalleled but now i'm realizing that her writing skills are just as outstanding.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Yezak

    Trace survives a car accident that claims his parents lives. He doesn't understand why and blames himself for the accident. When he moves in with his eccentric aunt and her eclectic friends, he discovers that there is more to family than blood, even in spirit form.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    2.5

  19. 5 out of 5

    Esther Keller

    There is a good amount of spook, but it's a bit anticlimatic.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dale

    06.16.2019 (JF) NYTimes Children's Books: Novels recommendation; at the Madison Co. Public Library, Richmond...;

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens

    "Striking a solid balance between ghost story and school story; past and present." [The Horn Book]

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Kahn

    Quiet, well-written and surprisingly suspenseful.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Sammis

    Orphan uhoria blue highway -- FFCC33

  24. 5 out of 5

    CCPL Buzz

    DD

  25. 5 out of 5

    Karen Gagnon

    Trace is a totally delightful book about a young boy, who is coming to terms with the tragic death of his parents & figuring out where he now belongs. Author Pat Cummings, absorbs the reader with a spooky emotional story that is filled with sorrow, love of family, and the stories that sometimes go untold for decades. The narrator of this book, Trace Carter, has just moved to New York (from Baltimore) to live with his artistic colorful Auntie Lea, after the tragic death of his parents. In the Trace is a totally delightful book about a young boy, who is coming to terms with the tragic death of his parents & figuring out where he now belongs. Author Pat Cummings, absorbs the reader with a spooky emotional story that is filled with sorrow, love of family, and the stories that sometimes go untold for decades. The narrator of this book, Trace Carter, has just moved to New York (from Baltimore) to live with his artistic colorful Auntie Lea, after the tragic death of his parents. In the beginning of the book, Trace isn’t feeling comfortable in his new life, home or surroundings. His Aunt’s home just doesn’t feel like his home (yet). Trace is haunted by guilt and dreams of the dreadful accident of which he somehow survived. He does his best to distract himself from the painful memories of the past; however sometimes the memories creep in unexpected. As the story progresses, the reader follows along with Trace, who struggles to fit into his new school, until one day he is chosen as leader for a class project about the 1860s. On the day that Trace is to meet up with his fellow classmates at the New York Public Library, he suddenly finds himself lost in the immense basement of the building & discovers someone else is also lost in the basement with him. That someone is a little boy, wearing old clothing and crying for help. At first, Trace cannot believe he has actually seen a ghost, but he soon discovers that the young boy he saw is somehow connected to him & his families’ ancestry. The reader follows Trace, on the journey, he takes to uncover who this sad little boy is and why he is in the library’s basement. His research teaches him about the history of the Colored Orphan Asylum fire that took place on the library’s original land & also about the Civil War era draft riots. To find out what happens to Trace, the ghost boy and Trace’s friends, pick up a copy of this spooky book today. You won’t be disappointed, especially by the happy ending.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    VERDICT: Sometimes, even ghost stories can be inspiring! My full review is here: https://wordsandpeace.com/2019/05/10/...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Beth

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mrs. Bugliosi

  30. 5 out of 5

    MayorEmma

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