A Properly Unhaunted Place

A Properly Unhaunted Place - William Alexander, Kelly Murphy A Properly Unhaunted Place was a properly beautiful read. Its cheesy, but true. William Alexander seems to have this magical ability to suck a reader straight into a story. From the first couple of pages you’re there, seeing it, hearing it, and cheering for the main characters. The main characters which are, by the way, not white! Rosa Ramona Diaz is Hispanic, and her somewhat reluctant sidekick Jasper is half African American. She is knowledgeable, forced to grow up a bit ahead of time, and missing the father she just lost. He’s uncomfortable in his own skin and the reflected attention from his father’s charisma, but finds himself a bit during the course of the book. There are some of the expected tropes, such as parents not playing a huge role in the book, but it’s written so well that you don’t even think about it during the read.

I loved A Properly Unhaunted Place. Like... I can’t even properly express how much I loved this book. Its just a tiny thing, sized for the attention span of the kids that are the expected readers, but every page of it feels like your favorite fairy tale wending its way into your dreams. The pacing is exquisite. The dialogue is perfectly believable. The story strikes this perfect balance between being a paranormal fantasy tale for kids and being legitimately creepy when need be. The atmosphere is wonderful. You’re curious right from the beginning. Not only about Ingot, but about the world that Alexander references outside of Ingot. Where ghosts are the norm, everything is haunted, and that’s just the way life is. I need to know more!

I highly recommend this book. If you are an adult who can appreciate the magic that can be found in kids books, you need to read this book. I was enchanted. If you’ve got a kid interested in the paranormal fantasy genre, it’s basically a must-buy. If you’re a librarian, please get this on your shelves. Books like A Properly Unhaunted Place with gorgeous story-telling, a wonderfully interesting story, and characters that are diverse come along far too rarely. Please give this one the attention it deserves.