Educating Drew's Reviews > The Seer of Shadows

The Seer of Shadows by Avi
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's review
Dec 27, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011, middle-grades, historical, spooky

Horace Carpetine is a young lad in the 1800's and beginning an apprenticeship with Enoch Middleditch, a conspiring photographer. Shortly after Horace begins working with Enoch, a very wealthy woman asks for her portrait to be taken so she could place it on her dead daughters tombstone. Mrs. Von Macht tells Enoch that she believes her deceased daughter is restless and hopes that this photograph might calm her.

Well, Enoch is of course an entrepreneur. And a scheming one at that. He puts Horace in charge of making sure Mrs. Von Macht's daughter in seen in the photograph.

Wait. Did you get that?

Enoch tells Horace that he must create the dead girl's spirit in the photo that is given to Mrs. Von Macht. Pretty messed up huh?

Of course, Horace is a good kid, and he doesn't feel so good about this endeavor, but needs this apprenticeship so he doe what he is told.

Unfortunately there really is a miserable ghost girl present who shows herself and she's even more upset that all of this conniving has been going on in her name.

This is such a fun tween ghost story set in historical times. I love the amount of detail that Avi pays in the photography process. I have to admit there were a couple of paragraphs where I'm struggled even. My science is just not up to par and I have a terrible time picturing certain elements of the process. But, it definitely works here. Avi makes the story feel authentic.

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