The Girl with the Ghost Machine

From New York Times bestseller Lauren DeStefano comes a captivating middle grade of loss, love and hope. What if a machine could bring back the ones we love?

 When Emmaline Beaumont’s father started building the ghost machine, she didn’t expect it to bring her mother back from the dead. But by locking himself in the basement to toil away at his hopes, Monsieur Beaumont has become obsessed with the contraption and neglected the living, and Emmaline is tired of feeling forgotten.

 Nothing good has come from building the ghost machine, and Emmaline decides that the only way to bring her father back will be to make the ghost machine work…or destroy it forever.

 Lauren DeStefano is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart, A Curious Tale of the In-Between, The Internment Chronicles, and The Chemical Garden trilogy, which includes Wither, Fever, and Sever. She earned her BA in English with a concentration in creative writing from Albertus Magnus College in Connecticut.

This is a great book for middle school age kids as it handled a difficult topic with a loving grace. There was something heartfelt, beautiful and visceral in the way Lauren DeStefano created characters the reader could develop an emotional attachment to along with showing the poignant turmoil that accompanies great loss in a person’s life. Beyond the obvious storyline I also thought it was sweet the way she wove practical and helpful advice on the mourning process that can be applied beyond the literary pages.

 It provided an interesting commentary on the different ways parents versus kids handle grief and the responsibility we as parents have to not forget the living while mourning the dead.

 This tearjerker may make your kid, as it did me, become an emotional mess but I think it’s an important topic and one that can open great dialogue between you and your kid. If you know someone who is dealing with grief it might be a good idea to give this to them so they have a different world to lose themselves in that will allow them to explore what they’re feeling in a safe environment.

 It’s one of those stories that stays with you.

Thank you to Netgalley and Bloomsbury USA for allowing me to review this book.

 Buy at Amazon: 

*synopsis and pic from

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