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(Shadow School #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  846 ratings  ·  172 reviews
The first book in a middle grade series that introduces three friends and their quest to unravel the secrets of Shadow School, a strange middle school in New Hampshire, from the acclaimed author of Nightbooks and the Thickety series, J. A. White. Perfect for fans of Stranger Things, Neil Gaiman, and Adam Gidwitz.

Cordelia Liu knew Shadow School was going to be different. Bl
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 27th 2019 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Sara This is 5 months later lol But if you would be comfortable with the child watching the movie "Paranorman", then this should be appropriate for them. T…moreThis is 5 months later lol But if you would be comfortable with the child watching the movie "Paranorman", then this should be appropriate for them. This book has a Paranorman vibe to it.(less)

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Average rating 4.09  · 
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Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
Damn I was seriously deprived of something in childhood by not going to a boarding and/or haunted school. I loved that middle grade books with a group of friends that ARE NOT ALL WHITE is so much more available nowadays. The kids were wonderful and so damn smart. Such a weird and fun setting.

Rep: half Chinese character and Persian character
Belles Middle Grade Library
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wowza! This is my 2nd book I’ve read by J.A. White, & I can see he is going to be a favorite author. I LOVED Nightbooks, & I think I loved this even more! Anything w/a school, I’m in. Even a middle school, as long as there’s something unique about it, or creepy even. This had all of that. I especially love it when a school used to be a huge house, manor, or mansion before being turned into a school. That’s the case here! Oh & the backstory of the previous owner & occupant of the house, who also ...more
Nov 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, library-books
This is a great story about friendship, secrets of a rather creepy school and ghosts! Can´t wait to read another book by him!
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I has resolutely decided not to read any spooky reads this October. 2020 has already being creepy enough so I didn't want to have any more reasons to keep me awake. Which is why I don't understand how I began reading this in the first place! Nevertheless I have to say, I enjoyed it a lot. The book was not scary for me but I think it could be for someone in the recommended age group. ...more
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
A bit of a spooky middle-grade read, perfect for the beginning of October. I thought this was cute and enjoyed reading about the friendship between Cordelia, Agnes, and Benji and the ending was sweet and satisfying. Hoping there will be a sequel but this could also work as a standalone.
Lupine Smile
Sep 03, 2019 rated it liked it
I received this book as part of a Goodreads Giveaway.

When I saw the description of the book (for fans of Stranger Things & Gaiman), I was quite excited to be a winner of the giveaway. After reading the book, I would say that this book fits more in line with fans of Goosebumps or Magic Tree House. The reading age of this book would fit into the 9-11 yr old range by my estimations.

The story starts with the classic new kid at a new school, but this time with a twist, something is not right at Shad
Jen Petro-Roy
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So well done. I honestly couldn’t predict the twists or who to trust. Loved this.
Reading is my Escape
Cordelia Liu stared up at her new school in disbelief.
- first line

Cordelia’s dad lost his job and the family moved to New Hampshire where Cordelia is attending the Elijah Z. Shadow Middle School. The school is built in the former home of Elijah Shadow and is gothic and spooky. Cordelia sees ghosts in the school, but she isn’t the only one, Benji sees them too. Together Cordelia, Benji, and Agnes work to figure out why the ghosts are there and what they can do to help them. They discover that by
Ashley Flynn
Mar 18, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5. This was a fun and engaging story with cute characters and a good degree of suspense. I thought the mystery elements were smart and surprising, but I would have liked the ghosts to be a little bit more scary. For a middle grade audience, however, the scare level is probably very appropriate. My only real complaints were with the pacing through the end of the story. I would still definitely recommend this to anyone interested in a solid middle grade ghost story.
Christian Torres
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really really really really like this book so much and might be my favorite book in the whole world. I want to read the next book I’m pretty sure I would like that one too
Oct 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
it was a good book
Carina Olsen
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-i-want
I have been a fan of this author for many years now. I loved his first fantasy series beyond words. And will always read his new books. I was a little nervous about this new one, as I'm more of a fantasy person, and do not read many books set in present time. Yet I was excited too. And ended up liking it a bunch. Four stars.

Archimancy was a quick and fun read. I had a small issue getting into it at the beginning, but that did not last long, and I ended up enjoying everything a whole lot. While I
I genuinely enjoyed this book, and it definitely exceeded my expectations. This book reminded me of the Morrigan Crow stories. I thought that this book was going to be around a 3.5/5, but it ended up being a 4/5, because I found myself really liking this book. I actually looked up from my book, and laughed out loud at some of the dialogue. With me being older than the juvenile fiction demographic, juvenile fiction dialogue tends to become cheesy for me, but for the most part, this dialogue wasn’ ...more
Story of a Book Reader
~ She heard someone crying. These weren't the quick, breathless tears of someone in physical pain, but a low, rhythmic weeping. It was the kind of crying you allowed yourself when no one else was listening. ~

Who doesn't love a great ghost story?

Cordelia finds herself at a new school which she quickly realizes is filled with ghosts. With the help of her two new friends she tries to discover a way to help the ghosts out, trying to free them from their misery.

~ Even at eleven, Cordelia knew that t
May 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddy-reads
Cordelia has just started a new school, mysteriously named the Shadow School, and she is relieved to find out it's just named after the owner of the building. However it turns out to be just as mysterious and creepy looking as it sounds, with lots of legends surrounding it.

I loved all the secret passages and there's even a library down a trapdoor! The ghost system is clever and very interesting, why they stay and how they go. I won't spoil anything but the way ghosts move on is wonderful. The c
Felix Hommy Gonzalez
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another great book by J.A. White. It seems like this guy only creates masterpieces. I loved all the characters, the spooky setting and the awesome friendships. Also: I cried. Like, really cried. I was definitely not expecting that, but this book really moved me. What a beautiful spooky story!!!


There were some questions left unanswered and I felt like some things (and characters) weren’t really fleshed out or explored in depth, but it is just the first book of a series, so I’m guessing we wil
Aug 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
When Cordelia Liu moves to New Hampshire, she is in for more than she bargained for. Her new school, Shadow School, is a creepy old mansion with more than one secret. Together with her new friends Agnes and Benji, she will embark on a crazy adventure with spooky vibes.
A really solid story that will spook you and warm your heart at the same time. Recommended for lovers of middle grades!
Oct 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book was awesome 👏! The author never crosses the line of horror but it was still a nail-biting scary horror story! I love all the characters. I also like how the author made Agnes not see ghosts but she is still apart of the little group with Cordelia and Benji. I’m definitely going to get book 2!
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit of a spooky read that's perfect for the start of October. I enjoyed the plot and reading about the friendship between Cordelia, Agnes, and Benji. The ending was sweet and satisfying. I hope there is a sequel but this could also work as a standalone. ...more
Michelle Osborne
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a fun, spooky middle grade story. The main character is eleven years old and gets sent to a haunted school. I’m a sucker for a school setting, and this one didn’t disappoint. Read it in one sitting.
Chayse Sundt
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review to Come!
This was great! Solid storyline, fun and spooky but not terrifying.
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: borrow, standalones
This is soo fun. I can't wait for the next book. ...more
Feb 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
not as good as The Nightbooks, but still likeable.
Oct 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
I REALLY enjoyed this a lot!!
Celia Rheault
Sep 30, 2022 rated it really liked it
What a fun series I’ve found! Looking forward to the next book!
Oct 03, 2019 rated it liked it
i picked this up on a whim. i wanted to read something light that didn't require so much of my concentration and horror because well, it's fall and this was, somewhat, perfect for it.
a school full of ghosts? yes, please. but it is, afterall, a middle grade book so it didn't scare the brains out of me and I wasn't turning around, looking at my back at, um, zero times.
It was still a good adventure story. Kind of got me out of a reading slump so I appreciate that.
I think i would recommend it to yo
Apr 24, 2022 rated it really liked it
It took me a while to get into this one partially because I would only read small portions of it and couldn’t get into the story but also because this is one of those books where you are deeply interested while reading it but then later forcing yourself to sit down and finish it. Over all I liked it. If you’d asked me what I’d rate it now ten minutes after finishing I’d say 5⭐️. Tomorrow I may say 4⭐️. So I figured I’d round it off at a nice 4.5⭐️
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have fallen completely and utterly in love with this story based on friendship and ghost-hunting. It's such a good read, I had fun going through Cordelia, Agnes and Benji's adventures and I was saddened when it ended. I adore the ending, I think the book finished in an amazing way without any cliffhangers involved, without any tension that'll want you to IMMEDIATELY pick up the sequel. Archimancy, however, made me want to immediately pick up the sequel to it without any tension at the end. ...more
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J. A. White lives in New Jersey with his wife, three sons, and a hamster named Ophelia that doesn’t like him very much. When he’s not making up stories, he teaches a bunch of kids how to make up stories (along with math and science and other important stuff). He wishes dragons were real because it would be a much cooler way to get to work.

Other books in the series

Shadow School (3 books)
  • Dehaunting (Shadow School, #2)
  • Phantoms (Shadow School, #3)

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