The Dead and Buried is a spooktacular mystery with a sweet swoon-worthy boy who has secrets of his own and a smart heroine who refuses to let a mean ghost take over her house and her life. When Jade and her family move into town and to a posh neighborhood, she questions (to herself) how her family can afford the house, but it's soon forgotten. She's excited to attend a new high school; her last school was small and everyone knew everyone. She can't wait to have new adventures and meet new friends. Pretty soon, Jade notices other kids staring at her and whispering behind her back. Jade does some digging and finds out a teenage girl was found dead at the foot of the staircase in Jade's new house. Her parents "forgot" to tell Jade this little detail. The kids at school say that Kayla was pushed; others say she simply fell to her death. Little brother Colby tells Jade he sees a girl in his room and she doesn't talk to him but she "glimmers." Jade thinks Colby is making the girl up, but when Jade keeps finding her belongings moved around, she realizes that an angry ghost might be haunting them. Kayla (the ghost) is as angry in death as she was angry and mean in life. Jade has to figure out who pushed Kayla to her death or Kayla will harm Colby. Kayla's diary holds the key to the mystery and the murder. If only Jade can decipher it in time to save her brother. This is the best ghost story I've read in a long time. It has all the elements of a great story: a large haunted house, a mean and angry ghost who keeps her own secrets, a hidden diary written in "code," a murder mystery, a love triangle or two, a secret about the ghost's family, a nice guy who's as haunted as the house, and a light romance. Kim Harrington keeps getting it right. Fans of her Sleuth or Dare series will enjoy The Dead and Buried, and anyone who loves a ghostly mystery will race trhough this book. I loved the way Kayla's diary was written. Instead of coming right out and naming people, she gives everyone a number. Jade has to study the diary to figure out what number is assigned to each person. I was able to figure it out pretty early on and even knew who the killer was, but that didn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying the book.
Highly, highly recommeded grade 7-up. No language. A teen party and a love triangle. Kayla (the ghost) uses boys as her conquests, but no graphic details are spelled out.
Recommended by Pamela Thompson, Library Media Specialist, Texas, USA visit her ya novels blog at http://booksbypamelathompson.blogspot.com/