I first met up with Kate Klise’s writing and her sister M. Sarah Klise’s illustrations in the ‘90s with the delightful novel Regarding the Fountain. I guess you’d call it an epistolary novel. It’s a wacky tale told in letters, memos, news clippings and other documents of a school that needs a new drinking fountain. In Klise’s hands this simple quest becomes absurdly complicated and entertaining.
Now my daughter, who has blossomed as a recreational reader this summer, needs good books! Series especially. So I’ve turned her on to the 43 Cemetery Road series and she’s plowed through the first three. (Mental note: reserve the fourth one for her from the library.)
Dying to Meet You (2009) is the story of an old writer in a long slump renting an old, dilapidated house in Ghastly, Illinois. Ignatius B. Grumply is the author of the (fictional) Ghost Tamer series and he’s many years overdue for the next volume. Sight unseen he has rented an enormous old Queen Anne that happens to be inhabited by long dead Olive Spence, a frustrated writer herself, and 11-year-old Seymour Hope, a living boy whose parents have ditched him to go do paranormal research in Europe. The text is preceded by a portrait gallery of people like young Seymour, old and dead Olive, the author Ignatius B. Grumply and the real estate agent Anita Sale. (Expect lots of clever joke names.)
This series, too, is full of letters, notes, and news articles from The Ghastly Times. It’s a great story. Both my daughter and I have found it to be great story-telling and addictive reading.