Title: Shadowed Summer
Author: Saundra Mitchell
What it's about: So, it's summer, and fourteen year old Iris and her best friend Colette are prepared to spend it up to their usual tricks of make-believe and such. Two things promise to make that hard: Colette's budding attraction to neighbor boy Ben, and the fact that Iris is seeing the ghost of a young man who died many years ago. The ghost is Elijah, a guy whose disappearance was never solved. He's the town's big mystery. And so Iris, Colette, and Ben decide to solve it. However, there are those who don't want the mystery to be solved, and all the while Elijah's ghost is pestering Iris.
What I thought: Two things I especially liked about this book. First off, the characters acted like actual kids. Not that pseud0-mature Disney Channel behavior, but like actual kids. And second, the inclusion of some actual supernatural elements, particularly at the end, really ramped up the suspense. I also liked what the actual resolution to the mystery was. Pretty clever and tragic. The writing style was enjoyable, too. Very much got across the small town feel. Reminded me a bit of To Kill A Mockingbird. Er, you know, with the narrator who's somewhat precocious but still definitely a kid in her essence, as well as in how it depicted the slower, close-knit feel of the community.
Overall: A very solid story that's worth checking out.