Title: A Curious Tale of the In-Between
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Release date: September 1st, 2015
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Ghosts
Source: ARC from Bloomsbury Kids
Pram Bellamy is special—she can talk to ghosts. She doesn’t have too many friends amongst the living, but that’s all right. She has her books, she has her aunts, and she has her best friend, the ghostly Felix.
Then Pram meets Clarence, a boy from school who has also lost a parent and is looking for answers. Together they arrive at the door of the mysterious Lady Savant, who promises to help. But this spiritualist knows the true nature of Pram’s power, and what she has planned is more terrifying than any ghost.
Lauren DeStefano is beloved by critics and readers alike, and her middle grade debut is lyrical, evocative and not to be missed.
Today we bring you two reviews. Stacie and I decided to combine our reviews in one post. Hope you enjoy!
Huge thank you to Bloomsbury Kids for sending us an advanced copy of this book!
This is a story about a girl named Pram, She has the ability to see ghosts. She only has one friend and his name is Felix. Who by the way is a ghost. She lives with her two particular aunts since she was a baby. They run a Halfway to Heaven Home for the aging. Where Pram sometimes entertains and performs for the elders.
Pram’s aunts have no clue what to do with a little girl. I didn’t like them very much. But they did give her the very best things they could. One of those things was books. Pram liked to read and when she was six. She had reenacted the great works of Shakespeare.
However, her aunts are very weird and didn’t know what to do with her half the time. She was supposed to be in school. But was homeschooled instead (Which they really didn’t school her. They just give her books to read to get her out of their hair) until one day the schoolmarm came for a visit and saw that Pram’s aunts were unfit to continue her schooling and made Pram go to school.
Pram was convinced that everyone would be cruel at school. She didn’t want to go and was pretty scared. But on her first day. She meets a boy named Clarence. Who made her see that not everyone is as cruel as she thought. He’s a great friend to Pram. I loved their relationship and the adventures they took.
This was my first MG and I have to say that A Curious Tale of the In-Between was pretty good. I loved the relationship btw Clarence, Felix and Pram. They are all pretty young, but they deal with pretty hard topics in this book. Which is great to see these type of subject being mentioned in an MG. At times you will probably forget that this is a MG since the character are so mature and smart. Which by the way they are eleven years of age. In which case is shocking because all the eleven years old I know are nothing like that.
The writing style was easy and beautiful and I will definitely be reading the next book in this series. I recommend this book to anyone that loves MG.
Lately, I have been into reading Middle Grade novels. Not because I can relate to them, but because I have a son who is getting into reading bigger novels. I want to see what he likes and also see what he can relate to in order for him to learn something out of it. Well it’s safe to say that this story was all that and more. I loved Pram’s character, and just the way she carried herself was perfect.
Pram is not your ordinary girl. She was born dead and brought back to life from unfortunate circumstances. Because of this, she has the ability to see ghosts. One of her best friends, Felix is in fact a ghost. Pram connects more with ghosts than real people because she is not normal, but she prefers it that way. She thinks humans are rude and unkind. Little did she know that she would have to go to school to better her studies. She was quite the intelligent girl though, and while she learned that students are not that horrible, she still couldn’t connect with them. Although there was one boy she did make friends with, Clarence.
While one of the dynamics is about Pram and her seeing ghosts, a major part in the book had to deal with friendship. I absolutely loved the friendships Pram had with Felix and Clarence. Clarence made an instant friend in Pram because one of their parents died. They had a connection that no one else could really identify with. Although, Clarence could not see Felix, they all had a common interest to be there for each other and protect one another, especially with the evil Lady Savant. I really liked the bonds they had with each other. They were adorable and I just wanted to hug them.
I really enjoyed reading this story. I loved the dynamic friendships in the story, I loved Pram, Felix, and Clarence. I felt as though I needed to protect them even. It was such a wonderful coming of age story, and I highly recommend to parents of pre-teens. It is a little on the dark side, but it’s nothing to be scared of. The writing especially had such beautiful prose. The beginning may be a bit difficult or boring for the younger ones to get through because of that. But I strongly suggest for them to get through it because an awesome story will await them. I am definitely getting a finished copy for my son when it comes out.
**Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way altars our view of the book.**