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A Curious Tale of the In-Between

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3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,701 ratings  ·  412 reviews
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, w
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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Evelyn (devours and digests words) I am 18 and I loved this sad, sweet book. I'd say... yes, anyone of any age can easily like this book :)
Melissa Bailey I would say fantasy, because while there are things that Pram is trying to figure out, that is not the main focus of the plot. If you don't have…moreI would say fantasy, because while there are things that Pram is trying to figure out, that is not the main focus of the plot. If you don't have paranormal, go with fantasy.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,701 ratings  ·  412 reviews


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Wendy Darling
I would like to lock Lauren DeStefano in an attic so she does nothing other than turn out charming middle grade novels for the rest of her life. But I suppose that would be unreasonable.

You'll love this book if the sad, tender pull between Liesl and Po tugged at your emotions, if you delighted in the dark humor and dire dangers of the Lemony Snicket series, or if you shivered ever so slightly at the delicious creepiness of The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls. This book is so comfortably appro
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Lola
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it

3.5 stars. Oh, middle grade books. They can be so lovely, can’t they? They can enchant you, entertain you, make you smile or make you laugh. All of the above, perhaps.

I didn’t know what I was to expect with this one. After all, Lauren DeStefano doesn’t write the most common of stories… which is something that I quite like about her. She’s full of ideas, that’s for sure. A Curious Tale of the In-Between is, indeed, a curious tale. It also reads like one.

This novel reminded me of how I could never
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Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

Not every adult is immature enough to enjoy a middle school book, but this one sounded intriguing on Netgalley and had such high reviews here I had to try for it. Plus, I'm rather immature.

The 5 star rating reflects a children's book rating, so bear that in mind. For any age this is enjoyable, though, as the author has such a beautiful style of writing. It's like being sent back in time to English Gothic fiction but with a surreal, dreamy touch. Seriously, it's awesome. Her writing style is beau
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Ben Alderson
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
YES. YES. YES!
I feel really emotional right now.
As a 23 year old I have only delt with death once. It is a new concept to me. I feel like I have been taught a special message through this book. I am really glad I read this!
Evelyn (devours and digests words)
"Why must ghosts be so forgetful?"

"Why must the living worry about the past so?”

“Because it all means something when you’re alive.”


This middle grade book tugged at heartstrings I didn't know existed. I don't have much to say about this because it's such a short, quick read for me to give the book a longer review but if I have anything more to say at all, the words will only be sung in high praises.

First of all - whoa, Lauren DeStefano really knows how to write a ghost story fit for young audien
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Neil (or bleed)
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
"Death isn't a punishment. It's just what comes next."


First of all, I really liked the title of this book. That alone made me curious (heh); made me want to read this book. And gladly, I did. It may be a quick read but this book definitely won my heart.

A Curious Tale of the In-Between, if you ask me, is a ghostly semi-adventure of friendship, longing, memories, acceptance, finding truths and moving on. It is not scary or creepy but it's still dark and haunting to say the least. It is a tale of
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Renée Ahdieh
Jun 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are no words to describe how much I love this book. Pram is delightful. Lauren's writing is flawless.

It took me back to the first time I read A Little Princess or The Secret Garden.

Basically if you like Roald Dahl and Frances Hodgson Burnett (meaning, if you are human), you will love this.

Just read it.
Lindsay Cummings
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
read in 6 hours. so lyrical and beautiful and wow, surprisingly haunting. I always forget that Lauren DeStefano is such a great storyteller, but then she comes back with yet another masterpiece. congrats again, dear! you're a writing genius.
Althea Ann
Jun 04, 2015 rated it liked it
A charming tale that doesn't shy away from its darker themes.

Pram (short for pragmatic) is an orphaned girl being raised by her two maiden aunts in a home for the elderly. The aunts hope that Pram will live up to her name, unlike her late mother, who killed herself before Pram was born.

Little do the aunts know that Pram's unusual circumstances have given her the ability to talk to ghosts. Her best friend is a ghost named Felix, who hangs out down by the pond.

But when Pram belatedly starts school
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Mary H
Jan 09, 2014 marked it as to-read
Shelves: arc
Lauren DeStefano MIDDLE GRADE!!! Count me in!
Laura
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it

”Death isn’t a punishment...”
“It’s just what comes next.”


Eleven year old (well 11 years and 26 days old) Pram Bellamy has always been able to see two worlds—the living and the dead. In fact, Felix, her best friend is a ghost. She’s more comfortable and happy with the dead.

“In shop windows she would see the laughing reflections of the dead. She heard whispers in automobile engines. She could never see these memories clearly, and they disappeared when she blinked, but their existence comforted he
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Fafa's Book Corner
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stacee
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
This was my first time reading MG and it set the bar pretty high.

Pram, Clarence, and Felix are all very interesting characters. Pram is fantastic. She's inquisitive, but sensible. And while that could be boring, Pram is anything but. It was fun being in her head.

The story is unique and the plot kept me captivated. I don't want to say too much, because it could take away from the reading experience, but the visual this book provides is phenomenal.

All in all, it was a quick read and I can't wai
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Mary (BookHounds)
Pram's mother has died at her birth and her spinster aunts have raised her away from the world in their retirement home. Her only friend is Felix, a ghost boy who meets her daily at the pond behind the house. When the school district insists that she go to a "real" school instead of being homeschooled, her aunts fear that people will not be friendly to their beloved niece. She meets and makes a friend on her very first day. Clarence has lost his mother, just like Pram, and it has been a daily st ...more
Jessica
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, fantasy, kidlit
Suspenseful and luscious story about a girl who lives on the border between life and death. Tucked away from the world by her protective aunts, with only ghosts for company, Pram has grown up strange, but intelligent and, as her name indicates, pragmatic. She is an utterly engaging main character, as are the people, dead and alive, who surround her. Although DeStefano's writing it spare, and the book is slim, it's somehow also a very lush and descriptive book that had me instantly picturing ever ...more
Bonnie
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Karissa
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I got a copy of this book through NetGalley to review. Previous to reading this book I had read DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series which I really enjoyed. This book is written in DeStefano’s beautiful writing style and is mostly a ghost story.

Pram was dead before she was born. Her mother committed suicide while she was still pregnant with Pram, but the doctors were able to revive Pram. Now Pram lives with her aunts and has the unique ability to see ghosts. In fact her best friend is a boy named
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Rashika (is tired)
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

A Curious Tale of In-Between is a very special middle grade novel. I’d go so far to say it’s unlike any middle grade novel I’ve read before just because of the writing style.

This book is filled with a lot of dark undertones and a very gloomy atmosphere yet the book is also middle grade because the main character, Pram, is only 11. Despite her maturity and intelligence, Pram has an innocence to her which makes her all the more endearing an
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Chelsea
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Reread May 2018

This is one of the rare occasions when a three year old review actually pretty well encompasses my thoughts on the book upon a reread. This is still one of the better middle grades I've read. While I would bring my rating down a bit due to the heavy-handed telling not showing at times, I think this is one of the creepier middle grades out there. It has strong themes of friendship and acceptance and a leading lady that is a great heroine for young readers to look up to. Recommend
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Stefani Sloma
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
A Curious Tale of the In-Between is Lauren DeStefano’s first middle grade book, and I certainly hope it won’t be the last. This book is absolutely wonderful, enchanting, and full of life – despite the fact that Pram can see ghosts. I was drawn into Pram’s world from page one and read this one quickly over the course of two days (only because I had to work). It reads quickly and will keep you completely captivated the whole time.

Pram (short for Pragmatic – what a great name) is special – she can
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Skip
Jul 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
3.5+ stars, rounded up. A middle school reader, with dark themes. The story of two lonely kids, each of whom has lost a parent: a young girl named Pram (short for Pragmatic) being raised by her spinster Aunts, who desperately wants to find her biological father, and a young boy Clarence, who wants nothing more than to speak to his deceased mother. Because Pram's only friend is a ghost named Felix, her Aunts decide to stop home schooling and go to school, where she and Clarence meet and form a bo ...more
April
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A Curious Tale Of The In-Between is a charming and at turns dark middle grade book. Read the rest of my review here
Michelle Wrona
This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!

As the summary states, this middle-grade debut surely is evocative. I can't continue that note even further until you all go out and pick up this gothic read. DeStefano's mind and world created is so dark and steampunk-ish. All I picture is grey skies, characters dressed up in bonnets and pretty dresses and did I mention grey skies? It's such a gloomy read filled with grief and discovering who you are, but at the same
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Eileen (BookCatPin)
Aug 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I don't normally read middle grade but I won an ARC copy and both the title and the cover of A Curious Tale of the In-Between drew me in so I read it. I made the right decision. The story was intriguing and the characters were fabulous.

Pram is an extraordinary girl in every sense. Yes that means she can see ghosts. Growing up she has learned it's not a normal ability so she keeps it to herself. I love how pure her heart is. She's only 11 years old but she's already always thinking of others. Her
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Crystal (that.ending.though)
Aug 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is by far one of the best MGs I have read to date. The writing and the world Pram lives in is so captivating. I knew from the first few pages that I was going to have a hard time putting this one down! SO I curled up and read this one start to finish, which was how it was meant to devoured!


Pram has got to be one of the brightest, most intelligent, bravest and fiercest 11 year olds out there. It was easy to fall in love with her character and the people she cared for. Felix and Clarence are
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Rebecca McNutt
I liked the concepts and plot of this book, but I think I expected more from it than it had to give. It certainly isn't original, in fact it almost copies stories like "The Tale of the Jagged Sign" from the 1990's show Are You Afraid of the Dark? or the graphic novel Anya's Ghost. Pram herself was boring, and without her ability to talk to ghosts she's just a girl with nothing interesting about her. Her best friend, a spirit named Felix, is a better-written character than Pram, but still not tha ...more
John
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is, alas, going to be short: for some unknown reason I've developed a mighty pain in the neck (Pam remarked sympathetically that it made a change for me to have one rather than be one), and it's making typing quite a chore. The book deserves a longer account, but even without the neck pain I'm up against the wall, workwise, for the next few days.

Pram, an odd little girl living with her elderly aunts, is haunted by the fact that her mother killed herself just before giving birth to Pram, whi
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Kristen
My Thoughts:
I’ve read a good amount of DeStefano’s books and A Curious Tale of the In-Between was my favorite of them all…and I’m not even a fan of middle grade fiction for the most part. This book was beautifully executed and unique.

The pacing was even and the story captivating. The characters were so likeable and I absolutely adored each of them (ghosts and human alike). I loved DeStefano’s take on ghosts and the afterlife. I thought she made such beautiful points and my favorite line of the
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“She knew that the dead hid pieces of themselves in the world. They buried organs in the living. They stuffed memories into trees and clouds and other innocuous things.” 6 likes
“He was now working his way through the many shades of grief. Sadness made everything gray, he'd learned, but there were different types of gray, some darker than others. There were dark spots in his memories he wasn't brave enough to enter.” 3 likes
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