Friday, October 8, 2010

The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant

"My life might have been so different, had I not been known as the girl whose grandmother exploded." Pia Kolvenbach was 10 at the time of that freak incident in the small German town where she has lived all her life. Other children shun her afterwards - out of fear that Pia will be the next to burst into flames - and so Pia becomes more of a loner than ever.

Herr Schiller, an elderly friend of her grandmother, is kind to Pia and tells her stories. Pia loves the thrill of his scary tales about witches, ghosts and demons made of fire. But then young girls start disappearing from their town. The police ask children to report anything odd. To Pia, many things are odd. Pia believes Herr Schiller and his stories might hold a clue to these current events. If she can solve the mystery of the disappearances, she hopes that people will finally forget the circumstances of her grandmother's death.

A haunting story in which psychological suspense builds slowly but steadily. Grade 5 to adult.

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