The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street
A girl unravels a centuries-old mystery after moving into a haunted house in this deliciously suspenseful mystery.Tessa Woodward isn’t exactly thrilled to move to rainy, cold Chicago from her home in sunny Florida. But homesickness turns to icy fear when unexplainable things start happening in her new house. Things like flickering lights, mysterious drawings appearing out of nowhere, and a crackling noise she can feel in her bones.When her little brother’s doll starts crying real tears, Tessa realizes that someone—or something—is trying to communicate with her. A secret that’s been shrouded in mystery for more than one hundred years.With the help of three new friends, Tessa begins unraveling the mystery of what happened in the house on Shady Street—and more importantly, what it has to do with her!

The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street Details

TitleThe Peculiar Incident on Shady Street
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 10th, 2017
PublisherAladdin
ISBN-139781481477048
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Mystery, Horror

The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street Review

  • Lindsay Currie
    January 1, 1970
    I am so, so grateful to be able to share this book - the book of my heart - with you! THE PECULIAR INCIDENT ON SHADY STREET is Chicago history, strong girls, clever boys, first crushes & ghost legends. I couldn't be happier and I hope you all love it! UPDATE: The PECULIAR INCIDENT pre-order incentive is live!!! I have some epic swag to give away, so don't miss out. There's a gift for everyone, plus three amazing grand-prizes :) Details here: https://www.lindsaycurrie.com/pre-ord...
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  • Jessica Lawson
    January 1, 1970
    Like spooky? Like history? Love great characters? Then wowza, you're in for a treat with this book. You guys, I got SO many chills reading this book~ Lindsay Currie has already made a name in YA Horror, and this MG book will satisfy readers young and old. There's atmosphere from the very first page and more than that, the characters read like authentic kids you'd want to hang out with (okay, well, maybe not since I'm a graveyard weenie). Just the right balance of scary and heart! Can't wait for Like spooky? Like history? Love great characters? Then wowza, you're in for a treat with this book. You guys, I got SO many chills reading this book~ Lindsay Currie has already made a name in YA Horror, and this MG book will satisfy readers young and old. There's atmosphere from the very first page and more than that, the characters read like authentic kids you'd want to hang out with (okay, well, maybe not since I'm a graveyard weenie). Just the right balance of scary and heart! Can't wait for this one to officially hit shelves :)
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  • Scott Fillner
    January 1, 1970
    Engaging novel which has a little bit of everything. Students will enjoy this spooky mystery.
  • Kendra Ayers
    January 1, 1970
    As soon as I started reading The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street, it took me back to my younger self, the one who ingested books more than food on many occasions. I felt like twelve year old Kendra again, attempting to solve the mystery that was laid out before me. I got chills, I felt giddy, and I enjoyed every second of this journey into Tessa’s world. I am not a huge fan of ghost stories, per say, but this particular one was different. Lindsay Currie created a fictional world full of charac As soon as I started reading The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street, it took me back to my younger self, the one who ingested books more than food on many occasions. I felt like twelve year old Kendra again, attempting to solve the mystery that was laid out before me. I got chills, I felt giddy, and I enjoyed every second of this journey into Tessa’s world. I am not a huge fan of ghost stories, per say, but this particular one was different. Lindsay Currie created a fictional world full of characters that surrounded real people, places, and situations. Tessa Woodward, the book's main character, is already having a hard time accepting her new surroundings after a drastic move from Florida to Illinois. Adding a mystery like a ghost hunt to the mix, seemed like it would only make things worse for her. But Tessa was able to meet her first friends from Chicago and draw them in to her current situation that involved a unique opportunity for friendship. Tessa and Andrew were my favorite characters because you could sense a slow growing vibe between them that felt different from the rest of the friendships. In my imagination, they will continue their relationship and become each other’s first serious crush. As for Cassidy….I wanted to know more about her right from the start. I had hoped to learn more throughout the book but Currie was able to share her story at the end, which brought closure to my curiosity. This book was particularly special to me because I understood how drastic a move five states away can be. My sister (her family) and my dad live on either side of where Tessa is from and I thought this connection was sort of neat. Watching them move away was difficult to adjust to, which is why I felt for both Tessa and her Florida best friend, Rachel.As for the mystery lurking behind the doors of Tessa’s home on Shady Street, I believe Lindsay was really able to “spook” her readers but also make the connections believable. You could finish the book seeing a lot of coincidences coming together or you could finish it believing in the ghost herself. I liked that. I didn’t feel like she was forcing us to believe but allowing us to draw our own conclusions. I highly recommend this book for middle grade children but I also had such a great time reading it myself. I think Currie’s writing draws such an interest; we don’t have to stick with the age guideline and can read her work no matter how old we are! I am also incredibly interested in doing my own research on “Tessa’s ghost” and plan to visit Lindsay’s website to check out the research she did for this book.
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  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC from Edelweiss Above the TreelineTessa's family moves from Florida to an older home in Chicago so her father can accept a position in the symphony. Tessa misses her best friend, and strange things keep happening-- lights flicker, doors slam, and her little brother's super creepy ventriloquists dummy, Reno, appears to be crying! Her mother blames it all on the older home and the stress of moving. Tessa is glad to get outside, and enjoys North Pond, where she meets a neighbor, Andrew. She di E ARC from Edelweiss Above the TreelineTessa's family moves from Florida to an older home in Chicago so her father can accept a position in the symphony. Tessa misses her best friend, and strange things keep happening-- lights flicker, doors slam, and her little brother's super creepy ventriloquists dummy, Reno, appears to be crying! Her mother blames it all on the older home and the stress of moving. Tessa is glad to get outside, and enjoys North Pond, where she meets a neighbor, Andrew. She discusses the oddities with him, and with his friend Nina, they investigate. Clues lead them to nearby Graceland Cemetery, and they begin to suspect that the ghost who is haunting them is a little girl named Inez Clarke, who is said to have died either of a lightning strike or diphtheria. Small sketches appear with Tessa's drawings with the initials "IB", a small, musty box of mementos is retrieved from a crawl space, and the children use local history resources to unravel the mystery and free the ghost. Strengths: I definitely liked Tessa, and thought that she handled the move better than other fictional characters! She reaches out to children she meets in order to make friends, and even asks her parents for a cell phone in a very mature and reasoned way.The descriptions of the neighborhood are vivid and add a lot to the story. The ghost has good enough reason to haunt the house, and is just the right amount of creepy. Well plotted, nicely paced, pleasant characters; a very winning debut book. Weaknesses: What parents in their right minds would buy a ventriloquist's dummy for a four year old? Creepy. That said, my brother had a Charlie McCarthy one back in the 1970s. Also, had trouble believing that a musician and artist could afford to buy a house in the neighborhood described! What I really think: Definitely putting a copy on my order list! The nicely creepy cover will make this one that readers of Ellen Oh's new Spirit Hunters, Peg Kehret, Betty Ren Wright, Mary Downing Hahn, and Joan Lowery Nixon will gladly pick up. Bonus points for the comments that Shady Street sounded like something out of an R. L. Stine novel!
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  • Kimberly
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Lindsay Currie and the KidLitExchange network for providing me with a copy of this book to review. All opinions are my own. This book will be released 10.10.17Wow!!! What a great book. This might be set as a middle grade paranormal mystery, but it definitely kept this mama intrigued and stumped throughout the entire story. This book centers around a real Chicago legend and is a full on ghost story that will leave you giddy with excitement as well as a tad creeped out. "She was missing Thank you Lindsay Currie and the KidLitExchange network for providing me with a copy of this book to review. All opinions are my own. This book will be released 10.10.17Wow!!! What a great book. This might be set as a middle grade paranormal mystery, but it definitely kept this mama intrigued and stumped throughout the entire story. This book centers around a real Chicago legend and is a full on ghost story that will leave you giddy with excitement as well as a tad creeped out. "She was missing her home. Her place. Just. Like. Me."The main character, Tessa Woodward, is relocating from Florida to Chicago with her family. She's in 7th grade and not happy about leaving her life behind and starting over in a different city. It doesn't help when they move into a haunted house on Shady Street where peculiar things keep happening - strange noises, mysterious drawings, changing artwork and hidden belongings. There's also a ventriloquist dummy that actually sheds tears and a vanishing cemetery statue too. Eek!! The author did a wonderful job of describing various spooky scenes. Many times I would finish a chapter and continue onto the next because she set up a perfect cliffhanger. I love the fact that these incidents were creepy, but that the kids questioned the occurrences. They researched and even used science to dispel a theory. That's a brilliant idea to introduce young readers to as a way to cope with fear!!! It was also great to hear a few characters realize that they were thankful to have something so crazy to focus on because it distracted them from their own problems for just a moment. The characters are so great in this book. They are innocent and come from various backgrounds. Yet they all accept each other's flaws and work together to solve the mystery. On the surface, this may appear to be just a ghost story, but the characters add a whole new dimension and teach the reader some valuable lessons about friendship and acceptance. Tessa is a wonderful lead. We watch her deal with a lot of emotions as the story progresses. Many kids will find it easy to relate to her character. She is not happy about moving out of her beloved state, sad about leaving her best friend, anxious to attend a new school, embarrassed by her parent's quirky behavior, desperate for a phone and hesitant to let everyone see her true self. We watch her deal with all of that and finally find peace in the end. There's a wonderful paragraph where she realizes that everyone is different and complicated, but if you take the time to get to know someone that's what makes them unique. The side characters are just as great. I absolutely loved Andrew and Nina. I also adored the free range parents. Their antics had me giggling on several occasions. I appreciate the conversation Tessa has with her mother about phones and how they interfere with experiences!!! So true. I love books that introduce me to local legends and send me scurrying to the internet once done to look up a few more facts and real life pictures. That's exactly what I did! This book is inspired by the real life ghost legend of Inez Clarke from Chicago. Seeing photos of the actual cemetery and grave monument did give me chills. I learned a new term - coimetrophobia. I've never had an issue with death or graveyards. In fact, I enjoy walking around cemeteries. The older the better. I love reading all of the names you typically don't hear anymore or finding emblems for various guilds. However, I know that's not the case for many. Hopefully, this will help others view grave sites and ghost stories a bit differently. I highly recommend this book for middle grade readers and fans of R.L. Stine. It's an unique story that you can view many different ways and would make a great selection for book clubs!!!!
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  • S.M. Parker
    January 1, 1970
    Ahhhhh! This book is PHENOMENAL. It’s a middle grade ghost story so you should read it just for that! Currie will creep you out in the best way. But even though there’s a two-hundred-year-old mystery and dusty, hidden secrets and LOTS of scary stuff (the kind of scary stuff that gave me gooseflesh and all over chills), there is also tenderness and kindness and SO MANY BEAUTIFUL MESSAGES ABOUT FREINDSHIP AND BELONGING AND ACCEPTANCE. The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street is the rare gem of a book Ahhhhh! This book is PHENOMENAL. It’s a middle grade ghost story so you should read it just for that! Currie will creep you out in the best way. But even though there’s a two-hundred-year-old mystery and dusty, hidden secrets and LOTS of scary stuff (the kind of scary stuff that gave me gooseflesh and all over chills), there is also tenderness and kindness and SO MANY BEAUTIFUL MESSAGES ABOUT FREINDSHIP AND BELONGING AND ACCEPTANCE. The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street is the rare gem of a book that interlaces strong family support, budding friendships, brilliant jump-off-the-page kids, history and mystery. I commend Currie for this beautiful story. This story that would not let me go. I devoured it in a day because it is wholly devourable (not a word, but still). It is. Devourable. Currie’s characters are a group of kids that will make you laugh out loud while you’re rooting for them to solve century’s old mystery. And Jonah and his ventriloquist doll (and his spill of Legos) have my whole heart. The characters are real and pulsing and filled with the beautiful spirit of warm innocence and tender curiosity. I want to read each of their stories so, L Currie, please write a story for each one of them. Please and thank you. And sweet Inez, the ghost. Sigh. I’m so glad you met the kids at Shady Street. Brava, L Currie! This book is magical and haunting in the most tender way. I am so grateful to have received an early ARC of this book. Thank you, thank you!!!
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  • Marci Curtis
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to snag an early copy of this book and HOLY CATS, people, this story has All the Things:Friendship. Humor. Suspense. Feels. Family. Heart.Fright. (Yup. You read that correctly--FRIGHT. This story is like the Swiss army knife of books...it does it all.)Beautifully written and expertly crafted. One of my fave MGs of all time. Wholeheartedly recommend.
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  • Jenna Lehne
    January 1, 1970
    I read an earlier version of this book and was blown away. The voice, the setting, the plot is all so creepily wonderful. You'll want to add this one to your TBR pile. Trust.
  • Aaron
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to read this through an ARC on Net Galley.The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street presents like a creepy MG thriller and it delivers on this promise with a moderately scary plot that will be suitable for almost all middle grade readers. It’s certainly creepy but young children are not likely to be too scared. In addition, like other creepy books that my grade 5-7 students have enjoyed such as The Nest by Kenneth Oppel or The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier, the book has many o I was lucky enough to read this through an ARC on Net Galley.The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street presents like a creepy MG thriller and it delivers on this promise with a moderately scary plot that will be suitable for almost all middle grade readers. It’s certainly creepy but young children are not likely to be too scared. In addition, like other creepy books that my grade 5-7 students have enjoyed such as The Nest by Kenneth Oppel or The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier, the book has many other important messages and themes that are delivered in a subtle fashion through engaging characters.Tessa is a young middle school aged girl whose life is in a state of upheaval when her family moves from Florida to Chicago. She misses her best friend, Rachel, and is not sure how she will thrive in the Windy City without her. Matters are compounded when strange things begin to happen in the old house the family moves into, which her parents got for a “steal”. With her parents busy sorting out their new job and unpacking, Tessa is not sure who to turn to. Luckily, Tessa stumbles upon Andrew and the two form a friendship that gives Tessa some of the support she needs to puzzle through what is really going on and find the courage to survive increasingly freaky events. The possibility of a ghost being in her house provides a mystery that readers will love trying to solve with Tessa and her friends, making the story both spooky and thoughtful. Tessa benefits from the help of Nina, who loves researching the paranormal and knows that Tessa is “having a bad time and… need(s) help right now.” The kids in this book know that part of being a friend is giving someone what they really need. Friendship is key to characters in this book. When they have it, things are positive and hopeful, and the characters that are unable or unwilling to lean on friends at certain points are shown to struggle. Young readers are often attracted to spooky plot lines and it’s here in abundance with ghosts, creepy noises in an old house and a walk in a cemetery, but readers will also be engaged by the characters working together and overcoming fear. The message that family and friends should support each other is also perfect for MG readers. This would be a good addition to any library around Halloween, but also throughout the year.
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  • Lisa Maxwell
    January 1, 1970
    If you know Lindsay Currie's other work, you know that she does creepy tension really, really, really well, and TPIOSS is no exception. It is a creeptastic page turner that will thrill people who love MG horror, like R. L. Stine. Peculiar Incident is delightfully creepy. I mean, there is a ventriloquist dummy...and that's not even the creepy part of the story. The ghostly scenes are awesome--they give you chills, while still being tame enough for a younger crowd. (To be honest, I'm kind of looki If you know Lindsay Currie's other work, you know that she does creepy tension really, really, really well, and TPIOSS is no exception. It is a creeptastic page turner that will thrill people who love MG horror, like R. L. Stine. Peculiar Incident is delightfully creepy. I mean, there is a ventriloquist dummy...and that's not even the creepy part of the story. The ghostly scenes are awesome--they give you chills, while still being tame enough for a younger crowd. (To be honest, I'm kind of looking forward to watching my kiddos get freaked out by them).But in addition to the spine-tingling parts, this book is all heart. Tessa is a smart, resourceful character who finds friendship in a new and spooky place. Those friendships are the heart of the story, and they'll win over kids who don't necessarily like their stories spooky. Loved this one!
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  • JennE
    January 1, 1970
    I'd like to thank the author, Lindsay Currie, and Kid Lit exchange for providing an e-book ARC. All opinions are my own.Tessa and her family have moved from Florida where everything is bright, sunny and warm to gray, cold Chicago. Her father has gotten his dream job with the Chicago symphony, but with that has come sacrifices. Tess has had to leave her friends and school, her mother is not going to be able to sell beach scene art in Chicago and now they've moved into a creaky old house. There's I'd like to thank the author, Lindsay Currie, and Kid Lit exchange for providing an e-book ARC. All opinions are my own.Tessa and her family have moved from Florida where everything is bright, sunny and warm to gray, cold Chicago. Her father has gotten his dream job with the Chicago symphony, but with that has come sacrifices. Tess has had to leave her friends and school, her mother is not going to be able to sell beach scene art in Chicago and now they've moved into a creaky old house. There's spooky sounds and suddenly cold air at night.... not to mention a painting in the hallway keeps getting darker and darker and her little brother's antique ventriloquist dummy keeps appearing in Tess's room. Suddenly, a mysterious symbol begins appearing in Tess's sketchbook and Tess knows SHE isn't drawing it.Tess's worries are legitimate to a middle schooler that has to move to a totally new environment one month after school has already begun. But, she keeps telling herself it's for her dad, even though Tess can't imagine how she's going to make friends AND survive her haunted house.When Tess blurts out her house is haunted to her new classmates on her first day of school, she thinks she will never make friends.In addition, Tess' parents are different than "normal parents" so Tess doesn't have a phone, computer or TV. However, Andrew, an athletic boy she met at a nearby pond, not only wants to befriend Tess, he's intrigued about her haunted house. With him, comes Nina, the shy nerd that loves the paranormal, Cassidy, the mysterious "mean girl" and Richie, Nina's twin, who is really smart, but doesn't want people to know. Middle grade readers will identify with the characters--- Currie develops them so well, they seem real. Hey, I wanted to hang out with Tess and her new friends and go searching Graceland Cemetery for answers to who was the mysterious Inez Clarke myself! There's just enough spookiness and weird goings-on to keep readers intrigued as well as the pace. Currie keeps the plot moving along without appearing to "teach" something to the reader... nor give too much information or history. While Tess and her new friends work as a team to discover the connection between what is going on at her house and the mystery of six year old Inez Clarke, who supposedly was locked outside her home and struck by lightning during a storm, she learns change is different, but it can also turn out ok because things aren't always as they seem. Lindsay Currie did an excellent job creating her very relatable characters and placing them in a situation to work together to solve the mystery. They all learned something about themselves and each other without it being preachy or slowing the pace of the storyline, and the historical references and suspensefulness of the strange things at Tess's house and Graceland kept this adult reader immersed in the story and wanting more when it ended. I hope this is the first in a series of books about Chicago and Tess and her new friends. Maybe the next one will be about the Chicago Symphony??
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  • Laura Mossa
    January 1, 1970
    Prepare to be spooked! Tessa moves from sunny and sandy Florida to rainy and cold Chicago. She is not happy about starting over at a new school and desperately misses her best friend Rachel. Not long after her family moves into their new home, Tessa notices strange things happening. Could her house really be haunted? With the help of new friends, Tessa begins to uncover a mystery involving a young girl who died many, many years ago. Highly recommend this #mglit book for its seamlessly blending o Prepare to be spooked! Tessa moves from sunny and sandy Florida to rainy and cold Chicago. She is not happy about starting over at a new school and desperately misses her best friend Rachel. Not long after her family moves into their new home, Tessa notices strange things happening. Could her house really be haunted? With the help of new friends, Tessa begins to uncover a mystery involving a young girl who died many, many years ago. Highly recommend this #mglit book for its seamlessly blending of suspense, humor and most importantly the power of friendship. Thank you to the author, Lindsay Currie, the publisher, Simon and Schuster Children's and NetGalley, for providing me with an advanced reader copy of Peculiar Incident on Shady Street.
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  • Brooks Benjamin
    January 1, 1970
    When I was given an ARC of The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street I was actually in the mood for a creepy MG ghost story so my expectations were high. I'm so glad to say that this book met every single on of them and still had more to offer! Tessa is such an incredible character and her friends, their teamwork, the city, its rich history, and even the ghost were all just as spectacular. I can't recommend this book enough!
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  • The Reading Countess
    January 1, 1970
    Kids will love this spooky mystery about a centuries-old ghost reaching out to artistic Tessa when her family is transplanted to Chicago. A creepy ventriloquist puppet, atmospheric storms and ghostly sketches keep the reader glued to the page. While the characters are in the seventh grade, the content and interaction between the friends are still accessible to younger middle grade readers. I especially liked Tessa's parents' approach to parenting/life and the idea of an adventure jar. Look for T Kids will love this spooky mystery about a centuries-old ghost reaching out to artistic Tessa when her family is transplanted to Chicago. A creepy ventriloquist puppet, atmospheric storms and ghostly sketches keep the reader glued to the page. While the characters are in the seventh grade, the content and interaction between the friends are still accessible to younger middle grade readers. I especially liked Tessa's parents' approach to parenting/life and the idea of an adventure jar. Look for The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street to hit the shelves on October 10, 2017-just in time for Halloween! Thanks to Edelweiss Above the Treeline for the sneak peek, and to author Lindsay Currie for her time Skyping with my students later this year!
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  • Kyleigh
    January 1, 1970
    This book was great! I think Tessa is such a great character, and she showed so much bravery in the story, and in the end, she wasn't scared of the ghost anymore. She had overcome her fear and solved the mystery of Inez Briggs. I loved when Andrew, Nina, and Tessa came together and solved the mystery. Each character had something offer; like how Nina had knowledge of the paranormal and spirituality. Lindsay Currie did a great job explaining how Tessa felt, and how her friendship with Andrew and This book was great! I think Tessa is such a great character, and she showed so much bravery in the story, and in the end, she wasn't scared of the ghost anymore. She had overcome her fear and solved the mystery of Inez Briggs. I loved when Andrew, Nina, and Tessa came together and solved the mystery. Each character had something offer; like how Nina had knowledge of the paranormal and spirituality. Lindsay Currie did a great job explaining how Tessa felt, and how her friendship with Andrew and Nina helped her feel better about moving away from her best friend. And having a ghost in her new house. I thought it was a really well written book, and I would definitely recommend it to any middle grade readers.
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  • Alyson Kent
    January 1, 1970
    Creepy and atmospheric. Loved it!
  • Lilyn G. (Scifi and Scary)
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come closer to publication date, but...Very well done!
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    E-ARC provided by EdelweissThis middle grade ghost story is a perfect match for readers who want suspense/scary without being overly creepy. Very hard to put down once I started!
  • Cassie Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    The suspense in this book was perfect! A mixture of middle grade crush, new friends, moving, family problems, and ghost stories all wrapped into one makes for a book that will keep kids on their toes, but also laughing throughout different parts. The detail in the story also allows you to feel as though you are there, feeling the icy breezes, and shuddering alongside Inez. I can't wait to include this in our Mock Newbery 2017 club next year. One of my favorite quotes from this story, "Like my fa The suspense in this book was perfect! A mixture of middle grade crush, new friends, moving, family problems, and ghost stories all wrapped into one makes for a book that will keep kids on their toes, but also laughing throughout different parts. The detail in the story also allows you to feel as though you are there, feeling the icy breezes, and shuddering alongside Inez. I can't wait to include this in our Mock Newbery 2017 club next year. One of my favorite quotes from this story, "Like my family, we might be a little weird, but we're happy." Being weird is totally normal! :)
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  • Amber Webb
    January 1, 1970
    This break out novel by Lindsay Currie was absolutely engaging and intriguing. I couldn't put the book down. The story of change, loss, friendship, fear and creating your own sense of belonging was something I would refer to all my friends and middle grade students. After this mysterious and engaging novel, I can't wait to see what is next from Currie!
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  • Susan Currie
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book and would recommend that readers of all ages will enjoy reading and connecting with the characters.
  • Stacie
    January 1, 1970
    The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street, by Lindsay Currie, is a middle-grade suspense novel that will give you chills and tickle your funny bone. In it, we meet seventh-grader Tessa and her quirky, artistic & loveable family. When her father's new job with the Chicago Symphony moves them from Florida to Illinois, the novel embarks on a storyline that will be familiar to many readers: the upheaval of Tessa's comfortable routine, leaving behind her best friend, and the tension of starting a new The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street, by Lindsay Currie, is a middle-grade suspense novel that will give you chills and tickle your funny bone. In it, we meet seventh-grader Tessa and her quirky, artistic & loveable family. When her father's new job with the Chicago Symphony moves them from Florida to Illinois, the novel embarks on a storyline that will be familiar to many readers: the upheaval of Tessa's comfortable routine, leaving behind her best friend, and the tension of starting a new school in an unfamiliar place where she doesn't know anyone. But what makes this story unique is its basis in a real Chicago ghost story in history, and because I grew up near Chicago, I remembered it. This made the experience of reading the novel even more fascinating for me, but the mysterious ways in which Currie drops clues will keep all readers interested. Not long after Tessa and her family have moved into their Chicago home, a greystone that is over a hundred years old, she begins seeing and hearing unusual, creepy things. Her mother's art supplies go inexplicably missing, there are mysterious drawings in her sketchpad, crying sounds in the night, and her brother's ventriloquist dummy doll cries real tears. There is a goosebump chill factor to Currie's writing that recalls R.L. Stine, and in fact there are small references in the book to 90s pop culture that seem to let readers know what the writer herself may have had experience with growing up. As an adult reader, these type of finds within a children's book are delicious. For young readers, I imagine it could lead them to new and interesting things! Beyond the excitement of things that go bump in the night, the strength of this novel is in its characters and their developing friendships. Tessa's new friends - Andrew, Nina & Richie - each have unique personalities that spark off the page. In a book that could have focused completely on solving the mystery of Tessa's haunted house, it also became a story about the importance of friendship. Tessa's friends play an integral part in her journey of beginning a new school, learning to navigate a new city and helping her solve a mystery over a century old. Also deserving of a mention is that there is a girl who hangs a bit on the edges of Tessa's new friendships - Cassidy, a girl who isn't immediately welcoming and Tessa doesn't know why. Though not given a lot of attention, this part of the story is important because it is through a challenging relationship like this that middle-grade readers will feel the story's reality. Middle school is tough,. Making new friends is tough. Understanding our differences is....really tough. But, as Tessa learns, seeing our truths is important. The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street is ultimately a book about challenge, independence, friendship and the importance of figuring out who we really are. These seemingly heavy topics are made lighter by wrapping them inside of a spine-tingling ghost story. Kids will love the laughs, chills and moments of sweetness it brings, and hopefully look beyond the book for information on the real Chicago ghost legend itself. When I finished the book, it made me nostalgic to return home myself, and perhaps visit Graceland Cemetery to see the famed statue of one brave girl. But before I make the journey, I'll be sure to call my friends. *Review based on ARC copy received from NetGalley. Book publishing release date 10/10/17.
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  • Diane
    January 1, 1970
    "It doesn't matter because the truth has clawed its way into my mind like the terrifying thing that it is. Our new house is haunted." **Tessa is less than enthusiastic about her family's move to Chicago. But her Dad is living his dream, getting to play for the Chicago Symphony. How can she deny him this? At first, it's just a matter of missing Rachel, her best friend, who still lives in Florida. And it's hard to get used to Chicago. There's an odor. And there's no beach. In fact, "I still think "It doesn't matter because the truth has clawed its way into my mind like the terrifying thing that it is. Our new house is haunted." **Tessa is less than enthusiastic about her family's move to Chicago. But her Dad is living his dream, getting to play for the Chicago Symphony. How can she deny him this? At first, it's just a matter of missing Rachel, her best friend, who still lives in Florida. And it's hard to get used to Chicago. There's an odor. And there's no beach. In fact, "I still think Shady Street sounds like it belongs in an R.L. Stine novel or something." But at least she meets someone nice while drawing at North Pond one day, thanks to an errant soccer kick. His name is Andrew Martin. "I chuckle at the thought of how a ratty soccer ball landing at my feet changed everything."But then the strange things start to happen. There's the mysterious marks that keep showing up on Tessa's sketch pad. Marks that seem to be creating some sort of picture. And there's little brother, Jonah, saying that he has seen "ghosts in the hallway." And speaking of Jonah ...why does his creepy wooden ventriloquist's dummy, Reno, always seem to be staring at Tessa? "I hate the way Reno looks at me. Like he's watching me. Beady eyes, circus clothes, and a shock of black hair glued to wood. Ugh." There's banging noises, flickering lights and the time Tessa seems to be locked in the bathroom. And ... How did Reno get into her room at night? And was Reno really crying black tears?This is getting to be too hard for Tessa to handle all on her own, so she decides to confide in Andrew. And Andrew enlists his friends, Richie and Nina. Nina's hobby is Chicago ghost lore. She just happens to be a "local graveyard expert." Tessa isn't exactly thrilled when Nina tells her that the neighborhood used to be a graveyard. Even creepier are the stories about a little girl who may or may not have died in Tessa's house. And then there's the grave marker mistakenly marked with the wrong name. Is something about the girl being hidden? Is that what the ghost is trying to tell Tessa?And on a trip to the local cemetery, things just seem to get worse. A storm hits right about the time they are going to visit the grave site of the girl, adding fuel to the story about how the girl died. And then there's the sensation of another presence with them. "I feel them ... the fingers. Icy, dead fingers sliding into my open palm ... tugging me deeper into the darkened cemetery." It's time to run, but what happened to Nina? And did the gravestone really disappear, like the rumors say it does? Just what's really going on in this place?Dramatic phrases like "It's watching me, this house. Waiting to swallow me whole in its cobwebby corners and creaky closets" will carry students along on this roller coaster ride of creepy rumors and exciting discoveries. Fans of Mary Downing Hahn should enjoy this one.*Quotes taken from an advanced reader's copy
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  • Gloria Chao
    January 1, 1970
    Oh, this book stole my heart. It's deliciously creepy (and I couldn't put it down because I wanted answers so badly), but it has so much heart on top of all that. I absolutely loved the friendship between Tessa, Nina, Andrew, and Richie, and so many little moments made me place a hand over my heart because it was so touching.This was a fish-out-of-water story about how hard it is when you're new, when you don't belong, and how to find your place in the world. More importantly, it's about how to Oh, this book stole my heart. It's deliciously creepy (and I couldn't put it down because I wanted answers so badly), but it has so much heart on top of all that. I absolutely loved the friendship between Tessa, Nina, Andrew, and Richie, and so many little moments made me place a hand over my heart because it was so touching.This was a fish-out-of-water story about how hard it is when you're new, when you don't belong, and how to find your place in the world. More importantly, it's about how to accept yourself, how to see the beauty in the world and others, and how people aren't always who they seem on the outside, including yourself. Tessa was an insightful, sweet main character, and I loved how much she grew throughout the book.I especially enjoyed the end and how everything wrapped up. I never realized a ghost story could be so sweet! I loved all the revelations Tessa made and how grateful she felt (no further details to prevent spoilers).I also loved Tessa's relationship with her parents. It was very relatable because I'm sure most readers know what it's like to be embarrassed of your parents, and I loved that Tessa learned to own and appreciate their weirdness, which is something I also went through. This was a beautiful read, and I can see middle-graders falling completely in love with it. It's the perfect amount of spooky, with the heart of the book being about finding yourself. Highly recommend!
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  • TJ Burns
    January 1, 1970
    Suspenseful, gripping, interesting story, which combines the paranormal with the everyday adolescent problems of moving to a new town, being the new kid, and trying to make new friends. I read this story with my 10-year-old daughter and we were both intrigued, scared, and anxious to find out what happened next. (view spoiler)[Unfortunately, the amazing build-up piddled out; and the spooky story, the motives for the ghost, the mystery, none of it got resolved to our satisfaction. Why was this gir Suspenseful, gripping, interesting story, which combines the paranormal with the everyday adolescent problems of moving to a new town, being the new kid, and trying to make new friends. I read this story with my 10-year-old daughter and we were both intrigued, scared, and anxious to find out what happened next. (view spoiler)[Unfortunately, the amazing build-up piddled out; and the spooky story, the motives for the ghost, the mystery, none of it got resolved to our satisfaction. Why was this girl a ghost? Would she haunt a house for over a hundred years and scare a girl out of her whits because someone got her name wrong on her tombstone? Seriously? Come on! And the Cass connection, which had such mystery, such promise, turned out to be... what? She was in a bad mood? We were very much disappointed with the ending. And little Inez is destined to be a ghost forever, it seems. (hide spoiler)]The writing was fantastic, the suspenseful build-up was wonderful, the characters were sympathetic and likable. (view spoiler)[It would clearly be a four-star book had we not felt so let down by the ending. (hide spoiler)]I received a copy of this book from Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Lorie Barber
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a wimp. Reading Tommyknockers when I was 12 scarred me for life. So I tend to shy away from all things Poe-ish, macabre, or ghoulish. But my #bookexpedition friends were RAVING about this one all over Twitter, so I added my name to the list.I was not disappointed. I began it this morning and read all day long, unable to put it down. Creepy? Yes. Ghoulish? You bet. But that's the point. Kids LOVE the exhilaration of being scared, and this book has that in spades, without being gory or too muc I'm a wimp. Reading Tommyknockers when I was 12 scarred me for life. So I tend to shy away from all things Poe-ish, macabre, or ghoulish. But my #bookexpedition friends were RAVING about this one all over Twitter, so I added my name to the list.I was not disappointed. I began it this morning and read all day long, unable to put it down. Creepy? Yes. Ghoulish? You bet. But that's the point. Kids LOVE the exhilaration of being scared, and this book has that in spades, without being gory or too much for middle-grade. I loved the science woven in, as well as the themes of bravery and friendship. But my favorite? The characters. They are heartwarming, witty, and incredibly well-developed. The more I learned about all of them (including Inez,) the more empathic - and less frightened - I became. The world could use this lesson: learning the stories of others defeats fear through compassion. In short, let's all #beliketessa. A must-add for your middle-grade classroom library. I CAN'T WAIT to share this one with my students!
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  • Amanda Sass-Henke
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to #kidlitreview and the author for providing me access to preview the book through netgalley. All opinions are my own.A ventriloquist's dummy. A haunted house. Loneliness. The fear of the unknown. They all play a role in Tessa Woodward’s new life. Her family packs up their home in sunny Florida to move to Chicago, where every day includes a rain storm. Even spookier is her new home - a century old house with some amenities left behind by previous owners. Tessa soon discovers that furnitu Thanks to #kidlitreview and the author for providing me access to preview the book through netgalley. All opinions are my own.A ventriloquist's dummy. A haunted house. Loneliness. The fear of the unknown. They all play a role in Tessa Woodward’s new life. Her family packs up their home in sunny Florida to move to Chicago, where every day includes a rain storm. Even spookier is her new home - a century old house with some amenities left behind by previous owners. Tessa soon discovers that furniture and art aren't the only residuals left behind.In this middle-grade novel, author Lindsay Currie weaves together the fact and fiction of a legendary Chicago ghost story for all those who beg for something scary. Readers will love the things that go bump, or in Tessa's case WAIL, in the night. This is a great read for children ages 9-12 who love ghost stories, mysteries, and historical fiction.
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Review: This book is SO good! It is a middle grades ghost story, something I did have to remind myself of a few times while reading, as the story is told from the prospective of a 12 year old girl (insert all the internal struggles of a tween who is forced to leave her friends and life in Florida in order to move to Chicago because of her dad's new job...), but I really found myself sucked into the story itself due to all the details which helped to move the plot along. Currie did a phenomenal j Review: This book is SO good! It is a middle grades ghost story, something I did have to remind myself of a few times while reading, as the story is told from the prospective of a 12 year old girl (insert all the internal struggles of a tween who is forced to leave her friends and life in Florida in order to move to Chicago because of her dad's new job...), but I really found myself sucked into the story itself due to all the details which helped to move the plot along. Currie did a phenomenal job of laying out the creepy details of the ghost story / haunted house Tessa and her family have moved into, and I found myself getting goosebumps during some of the ghost-related scenes. While I felt the Tessa-Cassidy storyline was unnecessary and did nothing for the plot itself, hence the half star deduction, the actual ghost story and theme of friendship were both great, making this a must read for all middle grades students when it is released on October 10th!Rating: 4.5/5
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  • That One Librarian
    January 1, 1970
    The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street is the story of Tessa, artist, almost-teenager, and lover of sunny Florida, and her family's move to a creepy old house in Chicago. In some particularly scary scenes, Tessa quickly realizes that someone or something is haunting her house. As she navigates her new school and community, she makes new friends who ultimately help her solve the riddle of her haunting. Author Currie balances horror, friendship, and real-life in this middle grade novel perfect for The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street is the story of Tessa, artist, almost-teenager, and lover of sunny Florida, and her family's move to a creepy old house in Chicago. In some particularly scary scenes, Tessa quickly realizes that someone or something is haunting her house. As she navigates her new school and community, she makes new friends who ultimately help her solve the riddle of her haunting. Author Currie balances horror, friendship, and real-life in this middle grade novel perfect for new and seasoned ghost-story fans. Currie takes a few liberties in the narrative, encouraging kids to balance screen time, etc., but they don't feel out of place or preachy. Let's hope Currie continues to write shivery tales for middle graders!
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