This is a little series of books written by two sisters; Kate is the writer and Sarah is the illustrator. I read both of these books on Saturday morning before my family woke up. They are small in size, but packed full of cool stuff. The books are in the format of letters that the characters write back and forth to each other and newspaper articles that fill in the rest of the information. The characters have very clever names, all very punny. There are lots of pictures, too, and that is what first caught my eye because the first thing you see in the first book is a drawing and a map of a house, cut open like a dollhouse so you can look inside. Who could resist that!?! I was hooked!
A children’s author named Ignatius B. Grumply (I.B. Grumply, get it?) needs a place to hide out and write for the summer, so he rents a house in Ghastly, Illinois. He hates everything, but especially children, even though he is a children’s author. When he gets to his new house, he discovers that there is a boy already living there! His name is Seymour. Seymour Hope. (See More Hope? Awesome!) Seymour has a cat, and naturally Grumply is allergic. Also, a ghost lives there as well, and she was a writer back in her day, too. Her name? Olive C. Spence. (I Love Suspense…they just keep coming, and I’m only giving you three examples here.) She has vowed to haunt the house until her work is published, and as a ghost, she’s not happy with Mr. Grumply because his own book series is called Ghost Tamer. Pffft, as if a ghost could be tamed! She’ll teach him a thing or two…
These three roommates are learning to live together when trouble befalls them, and they have to figure out what to do next when facing various roadblocks, such as saving their haunted house, getting Mr. Grumply’s next book published, and keeping poor Seymour from being abandoned by his terrible parents! Book #1 is called Dying to Meet You in which our characters become acquainted with each other, and Book #2 is called Over My Dead Body in which they become separated and go on a hunt to find Olive’s old manuscripts in order to save their house and Halloween! I’m on the hunt for #3 and 4 now because these were such an enjoyable read! I immediately passed these on to my fourth grade nephew because I know he will get a kick out of the jokes and funny names.
Read these if you have read any of the other similar books by this author, Regarding the Fountain, and the rest in that series. Those are also told all through letters and newspaper articles, making them great fun and easy to read. If you like those big books that are interactive, like Dragonology or Pirateology or Spyology where you pull out little notes and get to solve puzzles or touch a dragon scale, then these are also for you. (Even better, with these there are no pieces to lose!) And of course, if you like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid-style books, where it is half-written and half-illustrations, you’ll probably enjoy this series as well. Book #1 has an AR level of 4.9 and is worth 2 points. Book #2 is at level 5.6 and is also worth 2 points.