6/26/12 ** Another in my current read through the Young Hoosier Nominees for 2012-13. ** Florence is an orphan who's been living in a London orphanage for the past 5 years when suddenly a solicitor appears and says she's to come live with her great uncle at Crutchfield Hall. The opening chapters harken back to Frances Hodges Burnett and both Little Princess (rescued suddenly by wealthy benefactor) and The Secret Garden (a mysterious, sickly child living in the house that Florence is not allowed to visit.)
The tension builds as both Florence and the reader learn about the mysterious death of Sophia, Florence's cousin. The reviews describe the book as "very spooky" and scary - not traits that I'm a fan of. However, I didn't find the book to be too scary. The suspense and tension were resolved through the children's hard work as they conquered their own fear of Sophia's ghost.
Another book that I'm looking forward to book-talking with my students.