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Pekin Dewlap #1

The Haunting of Elmwood Manor

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Pekin Dewlap hasn’t seen a ghost since she was twelve. But she’d do anything to get them back. Starting a ghostbusting business with her two best friends, Amber and Scout, seems like the perfect way to accomplish her goal. Of course, playing with ghosts isn’t high on their wish list, so Pekin has to do some arm-twisting to get them on board.

Once committed, Pekin and her friends find themselves in deep, trying to solve the disappearance of fourteen-year-old Miranda Talbert. Miranda went missing in 1918, and her spirit has wandered the halls of Elmwood Manor for the last hundred years.

In the midst of finding Miranda, discovering her budding feelings for Scout, and consoling a terrified Amber, Pekin is met by an angry ghost set on thwarting her plans. Will the Ghosties be able to help Miranda, or will Pekin’s business die before she solves the mystery?

212 pages, Paperback

First published March 1, 2019

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About the author

Pamela McCord

5 books155 followers
Pam started writing later in life when an author friend challenged her to create a book from his story idea. Being a never-say-never person, she met the challenge and managed to finish an entire novel, much to her surprise. Since that beginning, she's written several books, in several genres. Romance, middle grade and paranormal comprise most of her work. Pam has spent over forty years working as a legal secretary at a law firm in Orange County, California. Aside from writing, she likes to follow the stock market, buying, selling and trading stocks and options. Maybe in sharp contrast to that (or perhaps it's related), she loves Las Vegas where she can spend many happy hours at the Pai Gow tables. She shares a condo with her My Cat From Hell TV star, Allie, who manages to exude just enough affection to make her scary feral ways tolerable.

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5 stars
46 (48%)
4 stars
21 (22%)
3 stars
17 (18%)
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8 (8%)
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2 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 49 reviews
Profile Image for Paul Falk.
Author 9 books127 followers
September 3, 2019
Pamela McCord spun a tale crafted with a flair for the supernatural. It revolved around every child's worst nightmare - GHOSTS! The controversy of their existence continues to live on today and will do so for generations to come.

As the scenes unfolded, I found myself swept along a paranormal fantasy that held my undivided attention from beginning to end.

Pekin, and her two cohorts, Amber and Scout became novice partners with her in the ghost business. Beginning at an early age, Pekin, the leader of the trio was able to see ghosts. Those early years of encountering apparitions had taken her through Middle School. Now, enrolled in High School, her gift of the naturally departed had abandoned her.

Looking for a place to kick off their business in the grand way, our main protagonist came upon an eerie looking house on the block of  Elmwood, a street she'd never forget. It looked to have all the makings of ghost material. In fact, it seemed to almost scream out at her: Ghosts Present. Enter At Your Own Risk!

Not one to shy away from a challenge, she enlisted the aid of her friends, that is, new business partners and located the proprietor of the house. The owner confided that the house sat vacant for almost one-hundred years. The slamming doors, flickering lights and disturbing voices within the house through all hours of the day and night had driven off many a potential buyer/renter. It would forever remain unmarketable as long as the ghostly presence failed to cross over.

The three ghostbusters although being rather young did not dissuade her from giving them a try. It was agreed they'd be hired in hopes of ridding the home of its paranormal presence.

One fateful night, fifteen-year-old Pekin decided to enter the home by herself. A big mistake. Her partners had other plans that would not allow them to be present. It would be a move that she would later come to regret. With everything riding on the line, she was not prepared for what evil forces awaited her in the chilling darkness. Finding herself having reached the point of no return, she was about to find out.
Profile Image for Amie's Book Reviews.
1,493 reviews160 followers
April 8, 2019
THE HAUNTING OF ELMWOOD MANOR is the first book in a new middle grade series.

Starring three friends, this tale is one that many readers, especially those in the target age range, will easily relate to. Middle graders are usually interested in ghost stories and love to scare each other by telling tales at sleepovers, etc. Because of this, THE HAUNTING OF ELMWOOD MANOR is a novel that will enthrall readers and could very well end up on the best-seller list.

The characters are easily relatable and the relationship between Pekin and Scout mirrors many friend-turned-into-more relationships that occur at this time of life. The author does a terrific job of detailing the misunderstandings that occur when one person is unsure of the feelings of the other.

I believe that THE HAUNTING OF ELMWOOD MANOR will be well received by middle-grade readers and because of this, I rate this book as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for providing me with a free copy of this book.

To enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and to read more of my reviews, visit my blog at http://Amiesbookreviews.wordpress.com
Profile Image for M.C.V. Egan.
Author 3 books377 followers
February 27, 2019
Dewlap Mystery (The Pekin Dewlap Series Book 1) By Pamela McCord is a charming read. The young characters Pekin Dewlap, Amber and Scout are believable and embrace the curiosity of a teenage mind well.
Pekin’s passion about ghosts is not originally shared by her friends, here as well the author uses the teen qualities of convincing friends.
Miranda Talbert. Fourteen-year-old disappeared in 1918, and her spirit has wandered the halls of Elmwood Manor for the last hundred years.
Will the Ghosties be able to help Miranda? How many other ghosts will they encounter? It is book one in The Pekin Dewlap Series, I think YA readers will love the series.
I do not usually read YA but I do like ghost stories. As a mother whose son was a teen just a few years ago, I found the characters well rounded.
Profile Image for  - The Polybrary -.
313 reviews188 followers
April 11, 2019
~*Check out all my reviews over at The Bent Bookworm!*~

I’ve really been on a middle-grade kick lately and I was super excited to get to review this book! Ghosts and ghost stories have fascinated me since I was a kid, so as soon as I read the synopsis I was all on board. Overall I gave it 3.5/5 stars!

Things I Liked :

- The ghost bits were particularly well done. I found the hairs on the back of my neck raising at several passages! Eeeesh.
- Descriptions of the old house were awesome. I looooove old houses and exploring. The author did make sure to not have the kids trespass – due to Pekin’s “business,” they have the permission of the current owner to go snoop.
- I liked the difference in ghosts. Hard to say more without spoiling, but I really liked that there were distinct differences.
- Scout and Pekin were cute. Very young teenager-y. 😉 I loved all the bumbling and muddling about over their feelings, but there wasn’t TOO much drama.

Things I Didn’t Like So Much :

- It really feels like the author doesn’t know modern teenagers very well. They are supposed to be fifteen and sixteen years old, but most of the time they seem to act much younger. Yes, this is a middle grade book…so why not have middle-grade age characters? Maybe it’s just me.
- The adults are stupid. Ridiculously so. Their interactions are just…not…believable, for the most part. But they’re a minor part of the story.
- The whole “love saves the day” vibe. UGH. Didn’t need that, but ok. Still thought the couple was cute!

Many thanks to the publisher and Xpresso Book Tours for an eARC in exchange for an honest review!

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Profile Image for Nicoletta Micillo.
456 reviews26 followers
October 19, 2020
Ogni tanto mi piace cambiare genere e spulciando su Amazon mi sono imbattuta in questo romanzo. È stata una lettura molto piacevole, per lettori di ogni età
Profile Image for Dani Israelsen .
105 reviews10 followers
March 24, 2019
I was given a copy of Pamela McCord’s THE HAUNTING OF ELMWOOD MANOR by Xpresso Book Tours for this month’s Mystery & Thrillers review, and I’m quite happy that received the copy! I always enjoy reading middle-grade stories, especially ones that I can share with my teacher friends and my nephew!

McCord’s story of Pekin and her friends, Scout and Amber, forming a ghostbusting business is one that I think many middle-graders will enjoy reading. There is enough excitement and mystery to it to keep the boys interested, and enough romance for the girls.

While I felt that some parts of the story may be a little intense (I got a little nervous reading it late at night with the creeks and shadows of my old house around me), I think the story overall had a happy tone to it. It is a story of the paranormal, but it’s also a story of being brave, growing up, and knowing when to ask for help. It’s a story of love, friendship, and helping others.

THE HAUNTING OF ELMWOOD MANOR is a PG mix of Shirley Jackson’s THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE and William Peter Blatty’s THE EXORCIST, with the light hearted and ‘friends-first’ feel of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter. Perfect for any middle-grade reader who enjoys ghosts and the paranormal!

Dani's Score out of 5:📚📚📚📚📚 (5/5)


Thank you to author Pamela McCord and Xpresso Book Tours for giving me a copy of THE HAUNTING OF ELMWOOD MANOR in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Rachel.
598 reviews5 followers
April 10, 2019
**I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
2.5 Stars

This book had a great concept that it couldn't quite live up to. Pekin as a character is both likeable and annoying. She can be very bossy and self-centered, but is able to admit it and apologize when she realizes she's pushing her friends around. I have to say, her friends were much more forgiving of her pushiness than I probably would have been at that age. I could have done with a little less teen angst between her and Scout, but the target audience of the book may not be as put off by that as an adult.

The plot moves smoothly in some parts, but drags or seems forced in other parts. The beginning moves along well and is interesting, then it takes a detour into dating and prom, then picks up again as a murder mystery, then drags again toward the end. I wish there had been more time spent on the murder and the killer's motivation - there was a little bit of a hole in that part of the plot. The parts with the medium and the police officers were a little cheesy and resulted in a lack of believability for large parts of the story. The line from the medium about preparing themselves next time by praying came out of nowhere and seemed to just be for the purpose of adding a religious angle to the book.

What I didn't understand was how in a book about someone who can see ghosts the show Ghost Whisperer is never mentioned once. Also, Pekin is a fan of X-Files but not Supernatural? Even with the return of X-Files a few years ago I still don't know if I completely bought that a 15 year old girl would have been enough of a fan to have posters in her room. Perhaps if they had been Supernatural fans they would have been better prepared for all they encountered.

This is not a terrible book, but I felt it could have been so much better. It had a good basic structure and characters, but had problems with the pacing and went off on unnecessary tangents. With that said, I would be open to reading the next book in the series to see if the weaknesses are worked out.
Profile Image for Candyce Kirk.
1,156 reviews31 followers
April 10, 2019
As a big fan of mysteries, I couldn't say no to a middle grade book with ghosts and a problem to solve. I remember being a big fan of Harriet the Spy and I'm sure if I was still that age, I would want to be a 'Ghostie' and help ghosts move on! The author made this whole journey seem like fun, even if it is a little spooky!

Our characters Pekin, Scout and Amber are all best friends. Pekin had an idea to start her business. She got it all set up and figured if she did, her friends would join in on everything. That didn't go completely as planned, but in the end they decide to help her out. I loved their friendship. Even though they may have had their doubts, Amber and Scout still decided to stick around and help Pekin out. That's definitely a true friendship.

This story starts out with the possible ghost haunting Elmwood Manor. The mansion seems spooky. It's old, dusty and dark. When our Ghosties are inside it feels creepy and they even hear someone call 'get out'. That even had me a bit spooked. I loved the balance of the mystery of why this ghost was stuck, but also how these friends were dealing with everything going on.

The Haunting of Elmwood Manor is definitely more than just a mystery. Our characters learn to face their fears, deal with first crushes and how everything fits in their life. That being said, the characters are 15/16, but in all honesty I thought that was a bit old for a middle grade. Not only that, but they all seemed younger! I would've liked them to have been younger, it would've made more sense. There is also a particular quote that made me feel that the kids reading this one should be on the older side of the age range for middle grade. It's pretty intense and I think some may find it disturbing!

All in all, this was a really fun mystery and I loved how everything played out. Miranda the ghost was an interesting character and the author did a good job in having Pekin, Amber and Scout show her a bit of the modern world. As a big fan of Harry Potter, I'm always happy when books mention it here and there.

The Haunting of Elmwood Manor would definitely be the perfect book to read around Halloween. It gives the scary and mysterious vibes that are fun around that time of year!
Profile Image for Anjana.
1,722 reviews40 followers
July 9, 2019
This book had a very large scope of possibilities. The children, (although they are teens and one of them drives, their conversations made me feel like they existed in a separate younger world) have been friends since as far as they can remember. The story jumps right into the premise, providing us with information about the strange new job that Pekin has planned and is automatically assuming her friends will be a part of . Although aiming at a younger audience than me, I felt the interpersonal relationship swung between believable and not entirely probable. This was also the case with the public reaction to the new 'Ghost hunting' job. Some people took in too well into their stride but the others treated it with such disbelief that it was hard to imagine that all existed simultaneously within the same story. If these descriptions seem a little erratic, it will be accurately telling you of my reading experience.

Pekin wants to run an agency which helps ghosts 'move on' solely because she misses the ability to see them in daily life ( that is explained in more detail in the book). They find one job and as they embark on solving the mystery within the Elmwood house, they uncover more than they thought possible. As mentioned earlier, the base was interesting but it did not sustain my interest for too long. The people are the highlight of the narrative however, since they are all very vivid and each play important roles in the their own way. 

Overall, a decent start to a series. I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is completely based on my own reading experience.
Profile Image for Amanda.
104 reviews33 followers
October 19, 2021

I think it's a good start to this series, but I did have some issues.
Seeing how this is a middle grade book, I don't quite get the point of making them 15 and 16 years old. The only two reasons I can see is 1) so that the characters could drive (even though it wasn't really necessary to the plot), and 2) so that the love story would be more believable?
Seeing howI the characters acted like they were 12/13 so it almost took we out of the story whenever we were reminded of their ages.

Another issue I had was that this book, at times, could've been edited better. There were times where it is described that one of the characters had left the room and then in the next sentence the characters are right next to each other again, with no description of how that came to be. Along the same lines, there were also times when a chapter takes place on a Monday and then the next chapter takes place on the following Monday with no description of why we've skipped a week into the future.

Other than that I liked the main squad and I loved the cover. There were also some scenes that were eery. However, the majority of the adults weren't believable in my eyes, which was a shame. They were very "extreme" in their emotions, almost like their brains only had space for one feeling at a time.

Lastly, I think it was an interesting choice to include so many pop culture references (Taylor Swift, Harry Potter, the Weekend, Supernatural). I get that it's supposed to show us that they're present day teens, but I feel like these things/people won't be relevant in a few years which might make it harder for future audiences to connect to the characters.
Profile Image for Amanda Shepard (Between-the-Shelves).
1,446 reviews43 followers
April 12, 2019
Read my full review at between-the-shelves.com!

Really giving this 3.5/5 stars, and thanks to Xpresso Reads for the review copy!

What a fun middle grade mystery! Ghosts are one aspect of paranormal that aren’t touched on a whole lot in books (that I know of). At work, parents often come looking for this kind of book for their young teens. I can’t wait to recommend this one!

This book has all the markings of a great mystery novel. As we read, the mystery unfolds slowly, pulling the reader in and making the book difficult to put down. I wanted to know what kind of adventure Pekin and her friends, Amber and Scout, were going to get into next. Which means it’s great to know that this is just the first book in the series.

My main criticism of the book is that it was difficult to get a feel for the actual age of the characters. It says somewhere that they were in their upper teens (I think?). However, they felt younger than that to me. I would have liked a more concrete timeline in regards to where they fit in terms of school.

Other than that, McCord’s book is a successful mystery that would make an excellent summer read!
Profile Image for Lori Oliver-Tierney.
Author 1 book19 followers
October 25, 2019
A really fun read for middle schoolers. I do agree that the characters were a bit young acting for a YA novel but I was charmed by them. The writing is really good and I had a middle grade student read it in a class I subbed in and they said it was great. So that says something. I am looking forward to Pamela McCord's next book. Great debut novel
Profile Image for Hauntedbybooks.
224 reviews13 followers
April 18, 2019
The Haunting of Elmwood Manor was such a fun and thrilling paranormal mystery! Plenty of adventure, friendship and of course ghosts! I really enjoyed this book and I can't wait to read the next one!

Profile Image for Energy (Rae's Reading).
1,424 reviews33 followers
March 7, 2019
Pekin is always able to rope her two best friends, Scout and Amber, into her wild ideas. So when she decides to start a ghost hunting business, she gets everything prepared ahead of time. She wants to show them that she's serious. While they're both hesitant at first, they agree to at least meet their new client and check out the house. While Amber wants nothing to do with ghosts, Scout seems to be at least going along to be supportive.

They luck out because there is a ghost at the home they dub Elmwood Manor. Her name is Miranda and while she is friendly, she's not alone in the house. There is something much more sinister than her. If the kids aren't careful, they could be in a heap of trouble trying to help Miranda.

This is a cute book, it's an easy read and each of the trio has distinct personalities. Amber is hesitant yet supportive. Scout is strong and pretty easy going. Pekin, while insecure and a bit naive is an adventurous and positive person.

I did have a few minor issues with the book in general. First that Pekin is 15 and going to the Junior/Senior Prom. My child skipped a grade and will still be 16 by Prom, so if anything, she just seems too young to be a junior. I read a lot of YA, and the trios ages fit YA, yet the storyline, dialogue etc fits middle grade. If anything, I would have made them younger, as it is labeled under "Children's" for the genre. But it is a fun read and there are definitely more adventures in store for Pekin and her friends.
Profile Image for Holly Kammier.
Author 5 books94 followers
January 12, 2019
I loved everything about this adorable spooky middle grade book!!! What a treasure.
Profile Image for Cobwebby Eldritch Reading Reindeer .
5,030 reviews260 followers
March 31, 2019
THE HAUNTING OF ELMWOOD MANOR is a truly delightful YA paranormal with elements of horror and mystery. It's also a well-thought out coming-of-age drama, even though the characters are 15 and 16 (usually it seems coming-of-age stories have younger characters, but in this novel the theme works so well as the three best friends are maturing toward adulthood and viewing each other and their peers in a different light). There is a strong emphasis on "doing the right thing" and on solidifying one's place in the world as well. Although the events in the early 20th century that resulted in the hauntings were horrendous, the author doesn't detail these but skirts around them so that the tragic emotional impact is intuited but the details of the horrifying crimes are not revealed.

I was so absorbed in the story that it was a one-sitting reading for me and I hope to read more from this author.
Profile Image for la.lettrice.caotica.
102 reviews8 followers
December 29, 2019
Ho acquistato questo libro nel giorno stesso in cui è uscito.
La trama mi aveva incuriosita parecchio, e devo dire che la storia è riuscita a sorprendermi!
Personaggi fantastici, né noiosi né esagerati.
Lo stile dell’autrice è fluido e simpatico, tanto che nessuna parte del libro mi ha annoiata!
Credo che questo sia un libro per bambini (8-12 anni), ma anche per adolescenti e adulti.
In alcune parti del libro mi sono spaventata, parecchio.
Peccato che sia solo in eBook.
In ogni caso: storia bellissima, l’azione non mancava, personaggi delineati bene, descrizioni ottime, e nessuna situazione di “no-sense”.
Libro consigliatissimo!
Profile Image for Jennifer.
3,430 reviews44 followers
May 20, 2019
Pekin Dewlap could see ghosts as a child, but that talent disappeared as she grew and now she misses it. So, she bullies her friends Amber and Scout into joining the new ghost hunting business she's starting. Although they've been friends since they were little, Pekin never told them about the ghosts. Despite the fact that Amber is scared out of her mind, Pekin repeatedly guilts her into helping. When a ghost finally does appear to them, will they be able to figure out how to help?

The premise of this book was intriguing, the execution was only so-so. The plot was uneven, I felt like some parts flew and some lagged. I was surprised at the age of the characters (most middle grade novels don't revolve around 15 & 16 year olds). However, the characters often acted like they were only 12 or 13 so maybe that's supposed to work? The teenage angst was also annoying in a middle grade novel, despite the fact that it was portrayed realistically. They mystery was interesting and the way Pekin got Miranda to appear to her was fun. I also enjoyed the twist about the actual haunting of the house.

However, the parts with the medium were just weird and came out of the blue. Especially in the set up for the sequel where she told them they needed to pray. To whom? For what? Why? None of that was ever really made clear. Nor do we really get why the medium is helping pro bono in the first place. It's like the author wasn't sure how to resolve the story and threw the medium in there for convenience sake. The interplay between the medium and the cops was laughable. I also didn't buy the reactions of Pekin's parents. First, who lets their 15 year old daughter start a ghost hunting business unsupervised? Then, the dad's reactions to Scout, whom we have to assume he's known for years since Scout, during the climax of the book are just crazy.

This was a quick enough read that I didn't really get bored, but I didn't get that "I've got to know what happens" feeling from it either. I know it is intended to be a middle grade novel, but that just didn't work for me. The characters acted like middle grade kids, but were supposedly older and the situations they found themselves in were definitely those of older kids so I felt a constant disconnect.

Overall, a decent but not outstanding read. 2.5 stars

Disclaimer: I received a free ARC of this ebook from Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Alessandra Les fleurs du mal blog.
371 reviews12 followers
January 29, 2020
Ricordo ancora con un tocco di nostalgia i bellissimi gialli/mistery Mondadori intitolati i tra detective.
Tre ragazzini diversi uno dall'altro alle prese con i drammi della loro età che però si distinguevano dagli altri coetanei per un'intelligenza e capacità apparentemente straordinarie messe al servizio di giustizia e verità.
Pubblicati negli anni ottanta, furono il mio primo flebile incontro con il giallo per ragazzi.
Anche se, lo ammetto io già a dieci anni mi dilettavo con il mio amato Poirot.
Ma il pregio di questi libri come poi dei loro figli, i piccoli brividi, era quello di sdoganare un genere dalla sua privata nicchia di élite e far comprendere come, esso, fosse in realtà letteratura vera e per nulla rifugio per i disagiati.
O i nerd.
Ecco che fantascienza, horror, e noir tornavano a brillare anche per le nuove generazioni stimolando dei lati della mentre troppo assonnati e troppo istupiditi dalle nuove tecnologie.
Non a caso sono generi che presero piede nei favolosi anni ottanta, preda del diktat della moda e dell'apparenza che, ancora oggi, ci perseguita.
Libri simili erano, quindi rappresentazioni di una gioventù che, se pur provava gli stessi dubbi, i disagi tipici dell'età di trasformazione, affrontava questa ricerca del se in modo diverso e per nulla superficiale. Era concentrato più sulla mente e sulla sostanza che sulla banalità appariscente dell'esteriorità. Non a caso, infatti, i misteri venivano considerati tanto validi da dover essere sbrogliati.
I libri di tal guisa sono dunque, ottimi per comprendere e analizzare le difficoltà tipiche di ogni secolo e di ogni periodo “storico”, proponendosi come rivelatore delle cesure su cii l'adulto e l'educatore dovrebbero intervenire. E ricucire. Immaginate la mia somma gioa quando la mia amata Dunwich mi ha proposto la lettura di una ghost stories per ragazzi con gli stessi nobili intenti dei miei amati gialli vintage. Ovviamente, non me ne vogliano le altre case editrici, qua si tratta di un libro di alta e pregiata fattura, molto più elegante dei suoi fratelli. La penna della nostra balda autrice è al tempo stesso profonda e delicata, ironica e al tempo stesso commovente, capace di far terrorizzare e al tempo stesso emozionare ponendo il fantasma in un aura di pura poesia che ricorda la brillante penna della Montgomery.
Questo risulta un elemento fondamentale: l'aldilà e il peccato, l'omicidio e la compassione iniziano a danzare dinnanzi ai nostri occhi stupiti raccontando come, in fondo, anche in questa società pubblicitaria e mercificata, possa aver posto una sorta di antico ritorno alla romanticità del trapassato. In questo contesto ipertecnologico, la morte non rappresenta più il mistero tanto declamato da poeti dal calibro di Poe. Diviene una sorta di ulteriore viaggio virtuale in cui il mistero e l'orrore sono privati del loro lato gotico e quindi suggestivo. L'horror stesso soffre di questa limitazione dialettica proponendosi più che altro come mero elenco di nefandezze e di elementi sanguinari e splatter. Manca, dunque la poeticità, la poesia, la perfezione dell'atmosfera che è e resta il vero elemento preponderante della letteratura fantastica. Non è nella testa tagliata e nella mutilazione, nella ferocia di demoni e fantasmi il vero brivido. É nell'entrare in punta di piedi in un modo altero a cui dobbiamo credere per non farci sommergere dal ritorno della banalità e del qualunquismo. Dobbiamo vedere i fantasmi per far tornare l'uomo questo essere straordinario tra stelle e gloria cosi come lo dipinse il meraviglioso salmo otto. Ecco che i nostri eroi a differenza di tanti giovani, si pongono con sommo rispetto e riverito timore di fronte al fantasma, onorando la sua vita passata ma anche quel dolore di chi ha visto sottrarsi possibilità e talenti da un destino infausto o da un evento brutale. E restituire la dignità a quelle essenza che appaiono più reali della nostra virtuale dimensione, tanto da provare empatia con i ricordi, con il passato e con la storia.
Ecco che il libro adorabile e perfetto, adrenalinico e suggestivo in quella vetusta dimora, diviene anche di una poeticità strabiliante. In quell'incontro con il sacro i ragazzi crescono e diventano grandi, affrontando i problemi esistenziali di ogni adolescente da una prospettiva privilegiata; chi in fondo è ancora cosi vivo da provare amore, delusione e persino frustrazione, ma con la consapevolezza quotidiana che nonostante questa cacofonia emozionale, la loro speranza è di poter ancora incidere sul presente e sul futuro con le azioni.
Azioni che alla nostra povera fantasmina sono oramai precluse.
Consiglio la lettura non solo ai ragazzi ma anche agli adulti, che purtroppo stanno perdendo inesorabilmente il contatto con il regno dell'immaginario.
Profile Image for The Book Gawdess.
187 reviews9 followers
March 2, 2020
I got a free advance readers’ copy in exchange for my honest review. Thanks Acorn Publishing!

In The Haunting Of Elmwood Manor, high school student, Pekin Dewlap has started a ghost extermination business with her best friends, Amber and Scout.  The only problem is her best friends don’t know about the business. Now that she has gotten her first client and come clean to her friends, it is time for them to work together and get rid of their first ghost. However, other complications arise in both their personal and professional lives and they realize they may have bitten off more than they can chew.

This is definitely a book for teenagers. It is full of pop culture suited to today’s teens. However, there was one instance where Pekin referred to something as ‘rad’ which I found odd. They did seem like nice, well-behaved teens which made this book very clean.

The use of ghosts was an excellent move. Ghost stories are fun for every generation of young readers. I liked the fact that it was not too scary. Some readers at that age tend to be scared a bit easily. 

I like how the author looked at a teenager’s first crush and how to deal with a friendship that turns into more. It is also a nice story about how friends support each other if even they don’t like it sometimes. Pekin’s friends showed how loyal they are to her. As a mother of a teen boy, I found the story engaging and fun, yet suitable for that age group. 

Suitable audience: This is a book aimed at teenagers. There are some themes within this book that are too adult for younger children. Young adults may also enjoy this. Older adults may find this book a bit childish.

Recurrent themes: Ghosts. Haunted houses. Young love. Teenage drama

Violence: A violent crime is described but there aren’t a lot of details
Sexual Content: Kissing
Profanity: One swear word
Religious Themes: Holy water is used against a ghost. One of the characters uses special prayers when dealing with ghosts.
Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking: None
Profile Image for Coralee Hicks.
425 reviews4 followers
April 7, 2019
While not intended as such, I believe McCord has created a series that would serve well in the category of High Interest/Low Vocabulary. These books offer highly engaging stories, that will bring a reader into the plot. The end result is a further development of reading skills such as fluency, increased vocabulary and, hopefully, an increased interest in reading.

This volume is intended as the first in a series featuring Pekin Dewlap, a budding entrepreneur and
ghost hunter. As a child, Pekin could see and communicate with ghosts. Her mother had the same ability. In both cases the talent faded as they aged. Pekin would like to be a ghost hunter. Her parents have supported this idea. The book opens with Pekin approaching her best friends, expecting them to go along wholeheartedly. This is one example of Pekin's impulsive nature, which adds credibility to her teen age character.

Teen romance plays a big part in the novel. What do you do when your best friend from childhood, Scout, starts to bring tingles to your heart when you see him? This is Pekin's problem. Amber's crush seems to be progressing nicely; compounding her problem.

On the other hand, the ghost hunting is a success. Miranda appears. She is a compelling teen age ghost, who was murdered. Will the ghost hunters be able to help without adult influence? Why is the house under observation? Is there more than one spirit involved?

The novel finishes on a high note, with a suggestion that volume 2 is on it's way.

Recommended for YA readers.

Full disclosure: I received this copy from netgalley.com and Acorn Publishing in exchange for an unbiased review.
Profile Image for Tonja Drecker.
Author 3 books174 followers
April 9, 2019
Mystery, friendship and some ghostly surprises await in this easy-to-read and easy-to-get-hooked-to adventure.

Pekin has gotten her parents to agree to her new business idea, and she's able to convince her two best friends as well...barely. Being a ghost hunter might seem strange, but Pekin has ulterior motives—she wants to keep her ability to see ghosts and maybe speak to them. but her and her friends find more than she bargained for when they investigate Elmwood Manor. Add ghostly issues to her budding romantic feelings for one of her best friends, and Pekin has her hands full.

This is a fun, easy to read adventure to make mystery fans, who like a little bit of paranormal on the side, hearts beat faster. Pekin, Amber and Scout are a wonderful trio and display friendship as it should be. Things aren't always perfect, but they support each other and work together. It's fun and thrilling to follow them as the try to deal with the ghost and mystery.

There's always something going on, making it easy to read this book without setting it down. It's not always extremely fast paced, but moves along nicely and draws in. Each character has their own personality, quirks, problems and points to like. The world building is kept to a minimum but allows just the right amount of details to come through to draw into the scenes.

The only thing which bothered me a bit was the writing level and intended audience. While the characters are suited for the young adult audience, the dialogue and plot hits the middle grade level. Either way, it's an enjoyable read.

I received a complimentary copy and enjoyed the tale very much.
Profile Image for Debra Sanders.
4 reviews
January 12, 2022
There are many positive things to say about this book. The house descriptions are excellent, the tension between Scout and Pekin is believable, and the scary part of the ghost is well written. That said, this is neither a middle grade nor a young adult novel and I kept thinking the author needs to decide which she wants to write! If it is advertised as an upper middle grade novel (which I believe it is), then she needs to clean up the language in it and make her characters younger. They are not believable at all as fifteen and sixteen year old teens. If she wants to make it a young adult novel, then her characters need to mature because as of now, they really did "feel" more like 13 and 14 year old kids than the teenagers they are presented as--teenagers who want to do this business because it will look good on their college applications.

Another reason I gave it a three star rating is because there are editing issues, including missing words (more than once). That is just a pet peeve of mine--a published book should have been line edited to make sure this hasn't occurred.

Overall, I think it's a good book that ends leaving the reader wanting to know about the next adventure of Pekin and her friends, so that's another positive aspect of the book.
Profile Image for Catherine Edward.
Author 9 books106 followers
March 15, 2019
I always love a nice horror novel. This made me feel like I'm watching a nice movie.

The Haunting of Elmwood Manor revolves around three teens, who wants to become Ghost busters. Pekin Dewlap takes a step to make their silly childhood dream a reality, starting a business without her friend's knowledge. To her surprise, she receives a letter from Elonia Collins, who request her to remove whatever entity is occupying her family manor.

While elated on receiving her first business, it isn't easy to convince her friends Amber and Scout who now wants nothing to do with the ghosts. However, she succeeds in dragging them to the manor. What starts as fun soon turns into something that'll soon become their nightmare and Pekin realizes that the ghost, Miranda, a teen she thought was haunting the manor wasn't the only entity present in the manor.

What follows is for you to read and find out. It's a page turner. Though it starts off slow, it speeds up after they find the entity. The story is fast paced with short interesting chapters. It's a good read for horror lovers, who likes to read a story of a vengeful ghost.

**I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.**
Profile Image for Adriana.
2,473 reviews18 followers
October 2, 2019
This is a 3.5-star book not because the story isn't good or it's not well written, but because it suffers a bit from indecision about what kind of book it wants to be.
The 15 and 16-year-old protagonists act like way younger kids at times and more grown-up than the actual grown-ups some of the others. It made for a bizarre disconnect between scenes. Is this a middle-grade book, a YA, or a serious ghost story? McCord didn't seem to be 100% sure and so the tone of the book wobbles from place to place.
That said, the ghost story part is brilliant. There's a dark mystery and an even darker turn that puts Pekint and friends in some serious trouble. It slowly unravels as Pekin and her friends spend more time in the manor and find out more about Miranda and her circumstances.
In the end, The Haunting of Elmwood Manor is a deep ghostly mystery with light teenage antics and a little dash of romance to keep things from getting monotonous.

Mandatory note: I got my copy in for free as a part of the Acorn Publishing Book of the Month Review Club.
February 23, 2019
A great read for any person, both young and young at heart, who wants to break away from their everyday life and join in a spooky adventure. The curiosity and imagination of a group of friends led by a young girl, who at the age of 5 experienced her first contact with the hereafter when her grandmother passed away, sets the stage for the ensuing adventures. After the initial chapters building the background of the group, the story takes off and quickly reaches a point where you can't put it down. I read it from front to back in two days and now can't wait for the next ghostly adventure from the creative mind of this new author.

I received a final proof copy to read and review. I was not compensated for this review. All comments are my true feelings and I honestly hope you will feel the same. Enjoy.
Profile Image for P.J. Colando.
Author 4 books30 followers
October 31, 2019
I haven't read a middle-grade book since, well, since I was in the middle grades a long, long time ago. Nevertheless, this book was a page-turner for me and I'm gifting it to several of my Grands.

This book is peppered with young love and pre-teen angst, but it's not smarmy or cringe-worthy, that is, there's nothing to worry about as I gift it. Its plot is compelling, one that teens will enjoy, while they enjoy an illusion of control over life and the thought of leading rather than rebelling against their elders. It's a blend of youthful aspiration and knowledge to be gained over the supernatural. Friendship is valued so much that one of three youths puts aside her fears in order to be a team player. Values and intrigue inter-twine in the pages of this tale.

I highly recommend this book... gift season is upon us, folks!
Profile Image for E C.
20 reviews
February 26, 2022
This was a 0.75* for me. I feel like this book had a great premise, and the plot could have been more intriguing if it had been executed better.

As it was, multiple things distracted from what could have been a good story: capitalization and punctuation errors, run-on sentences, shallow teenage angst (aka cringeworthy and clichéd), flat characters who speak and act like they're in middle grade, and superfluous chapters that add nothing to the plot. There was also a lot of 'telling', rather than showing, and multiple scenes required huge suspensions in belief (e.g. Pekin's mother holding lunch at a house known to be haunted, what?)

I wish I could give this a better review, but this book honestly felt like a chore to finish.
Profile Image for Jennifer Patino.
47 reviews2 followers
September 26, 2019
Spooky & Fun

The Haunting of Elmwood Manor is a fun, fast paced book filled with thrills and chills. I felt it was a great start to a series, introducing some delightful characters.

Pekin Dewlap, teen paranormal investigator, and her friends offer to cleanse an old house of a ghostly presence. They embark on a creepy journey filled with mystery, and also learn lessons about themselves along the way.

I appreciated the humor and supernatural books and tv show references throughout the book, and it was extremely well written. I hope to read more frightening adventures of Pekin Dewlap in the future. Five stars!
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