The Proof That Ghosts Exist (2008), by Carol Matas and Perry Nodelman

Matas Nodelman-Ghosts1This is a delightful book that makes me want to run out and read other books Perry Nodelman has written… as I know him mainly as an academic.  (Carol Matas’s books I have read quite a few of…) Matas and Nodelman’s characters are believably drawn, and their plot fairly cohesive.  There are minor issues, such as the grandfather ghost, who should have died in 1978, not knowing “pastrami,” but using the term “salted beef.”  Even for a British character, that seemed strange… and his “hippy” hair and language as well… The resolution is a little too tidy and trite, as well… the suspense is not developed sufficiently and the answers the children need come too readily to hand.  This makes it seem like a book you might not want to read, but it really is far from that.  I looked forward anxiously to the launch of the second in the Ghosthunters series, as the larger mystery is only partially solved by the children’s discoveries in this book.  Matas and Nodelman have an engaging style, one example of which is having both children be narrators, often remarking upon the same incident or memory, or using a similar reference, but in diametrically opposed ways: as Adam and Molly are chalk-and-cheese siblings, this technique works marvellously.

Ghosthunters #2, The Curse of the Evening Eye, came out in 2009; Ghost hunters #3, The Hunt for the Haunted Elephant, in 2010.


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