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Ghost Squad

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,440 ratings  ·  674 reviews
Coco meets Stranger Things with a hint of Ghostbusters in this action-packed supernatural fantasy.For Lucely Luna, ghosts are more than just the family business. Shortly before Halloween, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, cast a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits, wreaking havoc throughout St. Augustine. Together, they must join forces with Syd's witch grandm ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published April 7th 2020 by Scholastic
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Claribel Ortega Thank you! I am also excited :) My main character is Lucely Luna. She's 12 and lives with her father Simon who runs a small local (and failing) ghost …moreThank you! I am also excited :) My main character is Lucely Luna. She's 12 and lives with her father Simon who runs a small local (and failing) ghost tour in St. Augustine Florida. Lucely is smart, kind, brave, loves cats and old movies.

Her family doesn't have much, but she does posses the gift of seeing the ghosts of her ancestors. They live on as fireflies and protect Lucely and her father. Fireflies as protectors is Dominican folklore, and has a special place in my heart.

Fun fact! Lucely's name comes from the word luciérnaga which means firefly in Spanish. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,440 ratings  ·  674 reviews

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Lala BooksandLala
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Claribel Ortega
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
If you're wondering what kind of energy GHOST SQUAD has, look no further than this gif from COCO.

Not only are there ghost chanclas (yes, ghost!) but there are:

* Fat cats named after The Goonies
* A witch grandma in a leather jacket
* Brown & Black girls on bikes having adventures.
* Dominican folklore
* Vintage video games
* Scary ghosts that can take the form of different creatures (like dragons)
* One very fat cat named Chunk

My cover is also live now, and all the thanks goes to the amazing a
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: believathon
**4.5-stars rounded up**

Ghost Squad, Claribel A. Ortega's touching Middle Grade debut, is a shining example of why I love, and continue to read, this genre.

This adorable story follows 12-year old, Lucely Luna, who lives in St. Augustine, Florida, with her father.

He gives walking Ghost Tours of the city. As amazing as that concept sounds, business is not going well.

It seems like no matter what he does, he just can't make enough money to keep them afloat. In fact, they are in danger of losing the

I've had this book on my radar since I found Claribel on Twitter through mutuals. We invited her to speak at BookNet Fest 2018, and it was a pleasure to meet her and get all of her wonderful thoughts and experiences on our panels.

As an additional note, I read this at some time during isolation, but what is time... The read date is a place holder for "at some point between after it came out and June."

Why you may not like this book: You don't like middle grade. That might seem obvious, but I thi
Jun 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: kids who want to be witches or ghostbusters
Recommended to Mir by: twitter
Shelves: ghosts
I had never heard of this author until the book came to my attention because of racist assholes harassing the author on Twitter.
Thanks, racists!

I think many ten-year-olds would really enjoy this action-and-magic-packed adventure, and the solid friendship and family bonds of the two kids. For my taste, the plot was distractingly holey, with far too much coincidence and weakly motivated villains. This probably would have been true even when I was a kid, but I was particularly linear and critical
A really fun middle grade to read over the spooky season. It was such a quick book to get lost in and really feel immersed and definitely one of the cutest I've read all year. I just wish it had of been about a hundred pages longer so everything wasn't resolved so quickly, especially the climax where all it took was a couple of characters to say a few lines of rhyme and then there's light and then it's over. Overall, not a lot of action happened, but I liked the characters and I would definitely ...more
Dannii Elle
I just flew through this audiobook and can't wait to get my hands on a physical copy. The storyline was full of Dominican folklore, humorous familial interactions, adventures in graveyards (and basically anywhere else the characters should not be exploring alone and after dark), a focus on emotions and how to deal with an abundance of them, and the liberal appearance of witchy supernatural and ghostly paranormal occurrences. ...more
This is a middle grade with Paranormal and Magic. I really loved the characters, but the paranormal/magic mystery part was just not very good. The mystery part was just to simple even for a middle grade I wanted more for it. I did enjoyed did with the characters so much which is why I give it 3 stars. This is a short quick read and it is fun. (*)
Lucely and her best friend, Syd, set in an adventure to save Lucely’s firefly spirits. Accidentally they may or may not wake up evil spirits instead. So now they have to combine forces with Syd’s powerful grandmother, Babette, and her fat cat, Chunk, to save their town and families.

This is such a funny and heartwarming story, a perfect mix of discussing painful feelings and having a great time with your friend. It deals with grief and loss, ghosts of course and powerful magic. And yes, this is
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
This is SUPER cute but I'm weirdly not in the mood for MG right now? So I'm saving this for a time when I can appreciate it as much as it deserves <3 ...more
Oct 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full review in my video:
Timestamps for titles in description!
Sep 29, 2020 rated it liked it
haah... that cover is adorable and i love that fat naughty cat Chunk 🐱‍🏍💕
Such a fun story and enjoyable for children, but because not also for adults is recommended.
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
I really liked this! What a cute, spooky, and fun read!

- Follows Lucely, a Dominican girl who, in trying to help her father, accidentally unleashes evil spirits. Together with her best friend, a chunky cat, and a witchy grandma, the group work together to right wrongs and save their town.
- I loved loved loved the friendship and family themes in this book! They were so sweet and meaningful, and I loved that this book is carried by such a genuine and powerful friendship.
- I loved that this was spo
HELLO I FINALLY ACTUALLY READ THIS AND IT WAS A DELIGHT!! idk when the last time I read through a whole book in one day was and ahhhh I enjoyed this so much. would do anything for babette and chunk and syd and lucely <333

I want to clarify: I'm marking this as dnf for now because I don't want to clutter my currently reading any more than it already is, but I 100% plan to come back to it, and it was very much an "I struggle with audiobooks and wasn't far enough in to be properly invested yet so I
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A charming adventure! Get it for your little ones!
Rameela (Star)
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Initial Thoughts: The aduio for this was so fun and I loved this fun and spooky story!

Full review also coming on my blog:

I was wanting to read this for forever and then finally got the impulse to just dive into the audio! It was absolutely PERFECT narration and I had so much fun in Lucely’s mind! There’s the perfect mix of spooky and fun that I definitely think everyone would enjoy!

I loved the incorporation of the culture with the ghost stories. I’m not an ownvoices reader so make sure to read r
Ms. Woc Reader
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
The movie adaptation of this book is gonna be an instant hit. This book is great presentation for young Latinx and African American girls. Finally they can pick up a fantasy story where they are present on the pages. And it's a fun story full of jokes, culture, and family.

Lucely has the gift of seeing spirits when others around her can only see fireflies. But those fireflies are the spirts of her abulita, her tias, her tios, and her primos who protect and watch over her. But lately strange thin
Jul 10, 2020 rated it liked it
☆ 3.5 / 5 ☆

Lucely lives happily with her father and her family’s ghosts. However, money is tight and her father has one chance left to make it up with one of their ghost tours but things go wrong. And they keep going wrong as the family ghosts start to act strangely. Lucely and her best friend Syd then go on a quest together to find a spell that could fix their problem.

I loved the family ghosts a lot, from them individually to all the interactions and different dynamics portrayed. It was heartw
July 2020: Sticking with my initial review, but adding in that I would also be okay with Babette's backstory.

April 2020: Honestly, what a treat? Friendships that are so close that's found family, check. Magical cats, check. Ghosts, check. I want to spend forever with these characters (but I'd also settle for more information on all the Goonies cats).
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was super cute. Utterly adorable. Perfect for this time of year! 🥰🖤👻
Apr 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m not sure if this was too middle grade for me or what, but I couldn’t really get into it. But then again, I was considering reading with my daughter and I don’t think she really would’ve liked it that much either. I felt like there was too much lead up and not enough action. If there had been more action packed encounters spaced throughout, and then a big ending, it may have been better. Overall not what I expected, but still a really interesting cultural take on ghosts and witches. I did lov ...more
October 13, 2020: Finished listening to this perfectly spooky story inspired by the Dominican folklore and all about two young best friends on an adventure involving ghosts, humour, and fun! Also, the themes of family's love and watching one's father go through a lot, made me so emotional. ...more
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was delightful!
Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)
I loved this sooooo much! Highly recommend reading this one.
Rock or Something
May 06, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a very difficult book for me to get into, and I had to put it down. I felt like the POV narration was so far removed that it was difficult for me to feel emotionally attached to the characters. One example is Lucely, the main character, referring to her dad as his first name during the narration, but as “Dad” when she spoke to him. Which just removed me from the character even if it’s third person, it just shows a disconnect that was very hard for me to get past. Another example, is whe ...more
BeeButBookish ♡
─── ・ 。゚☆: *.☽ .* :☆゚. ───

Lucely Luna is a 12 year old that can see ghosts, and surrounded by the ghosts of her family she finds happiness and love. When an incident at her father’s Ghost Tour threatens to separate her from her loved ones, Lucely and her best friend Syd Faires try to solve the mystery together. With the help of Babette the Witch The Ghost Squad must find out what evil is trying to take over her town and the lost spirits that reside there.

─── ・ 。゚☆: *.☽ .* :☆゚. ───
My Tho
Listening to Ghost Squad audiobook is quite an experience! It was a lovely and spooky read. I’m pretty sure that many children out there would love this book just fine!

Considering that I listened to the audiobook, it was such a pleasing narration!
Lucely’s and Syd’s friendship, I’m really fond of them. Friendship is the theme of the book and I honestly love every interaction in between Lucely and Syd.
The fireflies and Lucely’s love for them. Every spirit has their own
Richelle Robinson
“ I received a review copy from Amazon Vine and voluntarily provided an honest review. This does not affect the opinion of the book or the content of the review.’’

I really enjoyed this story written by Claribel Ortega even though I am not the intended target audience. The book was nicely written, family focused and introduce me into a new culture filled with a rich history. While reading, I felt like I was in the story fighting along with the squad. Some but not many of the phrases are written i
Dec 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, 2020
Such a charming middle grade ghost adventure story! I really enjoyed all of the familial relationships and friendships throughout the book, they were all super fleshed out. There were a lot of references to The Goonies, which I love, but I wonder how relevant that is for the target demographic. I think just mentioning it once is a fun nod to older readers who can maybe recognize that the vibe of the story is very reminiscent of the movie, but it started to feel like it was brought up way too muc ...more
caitlin ✶
Feb 05, 2019 marked it as to-read
I’m adding this book to my want to read shelf because I follow Claribel Ortega on Twitter. And let me tell you that she is the most intellectual and kind soul on there. Please follow her on Twitter!
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The Lunar Book Club: Middle Grade: Ghost Squad 1 1 Sep 30, 2020 11:53PM  

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Claribel Ortega got her start editing student’s often times hilarious ads and ramblings on the back page of SUNY Purchase’s Independent Newspaper. From there, she became a small town reporter, where she enjoyed going to board of education meetings and texting the town mayors about the line at Starbucks. Today she’s busy turning her obsession with eighties pop culture, magic and video games into bo ...more

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