Ronald Roseborough's Reviews > The Midnight Gate

The Midnight Gate by Helen Stringer
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's review
Jun 20, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: after-life, children-s, fantasy, magical-adventure, young-adult
Read in June, 2011

This a very good followup to Helen Stringer's earlier novel, Spellbinder. In this latest episode, Belladonna Johnson, a twelve year old is wondering what comes next. For a girl who lives with the ghosts of her parents and has traveled to the Dark Side and back, life that is defined by middle school classrooms is not very exciting. Her biggest problem is how to avoid trouble with Sophie Warren, who reigns as the class bully. Trying to stay one step ahead of her isn't easy. After a run in with Belladonna, Sophie alerts child services that Belladonna is apparently living alone in her parents house. Belladonna obviously can't admit that she shares the house with her loving, but ghostly parents. When she is placed in a temporary foster home, she has a bad feeling about the older couple who take her in. While on a school trip to an old monastery, Belladonna and her friend, Steve, meet a ghost who gives them an ancient parchment accompanied by a cryptic message about the coming of the evil Empress of the Dark Spaces. As more days pass with Belladonna still in foster care, she becomes increasingly tired and haunted by bad dreams. Can these incidents be related? You'll have to follow Belladonna on her adventures to search for the answers to this and other questions. This book is fast paced, full of magic and adventure. The book should appeal to tweens and young adults. It may be a bit intense for younger children, although the lessons of friendship, teamwork, and perseverance are good for all ages.
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