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Shadow Girl
Contributor(s): Liu, Liana
ISBN: 0062306677     ISBN-13: 9780062306678
Publisher: Harperteen
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: December 2017
Annotation: Relieved to spend the summer away from her dysfunctional family, a tutor working in the mansion of a wealthy family encounters mysteries involving her employer's problems and disturbing nighttime noises at the same time she develops complicated feelings for her young charge's brother. 20,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Tutors and tutoring; Fiction.
Mystery and detective stories.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2017052086
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 6.00" W x 1.00" (0.90 lbs) 324 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by PW Annex Reviews (Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews)

The industrious heroine of Liu's second novel (called Mei in the book's jacket copy, but unnamed in the story itself) spends her summers working as an academic tutor—anything to help the family make ends meet after her father disappeared. When the wealthy Morison family invites her to tutor their daughter on Arrow Island for the summer, the money is too good pass up, even though her Chinese mother wants her to stay at home. But after the recent high school graduate arrives, everything about the Morisons and their house is strange: eight-year-old tutee Ella seems to be hiding something, older brother Henry acts awkward and stilted, the Morison parents are in marital distress, and Ella claims that a ghost haunts the house. Despite the haunted house hook and the atmospheric island setting, Liu's story is slow to gain momentum, which again slackens during an interlude in which the girl returns to her home in the city. The addition of a romance between Liu's heroine and Henry further clutters this novel of a family forced to face its demons. Ages 13–up. Agent: Sarah Burnes, Gernert Company. (Dec.)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 September)

Gr 8 Up—Recent high school graduate Mei has accepted a job as an academic tutor to the youngest child of a finance mogul. When she reaches the island where the Morison family summer home is located, Mei is stunned at the lifestyle differences between her own family and that of her new charge. The teen tries to focus on her obligations, but as she spends more time with the Morisons, she finds herself devoting less energy to lesson plans, struggling to navigate the overindulgence and complicated web of friction in the home instead. And as Mei is increasingly pulled into the Morison family drama, strange things start to occur in the house. Mei isn't superstitious, but she can't shake her growing unease. Although presented as a ghost story, the first two-thirds of the book focus more on Mei's struggle to find and assert herself amid the strained Morison family dynamics as well as in her own complicated relationships rather than the supernatural. Mei feels an intense pressure to be accommodating with everyone in her life; if she is unable to meet these expectations she feels both shame and guilt. When the soft noises and shadows in her bedroom on the island eventually do twist into something more sinister, it's more foretelling than frightening. Some strong language is included. VERDICT An interesting story line will hold readers until the end, but a poor choice for fans of the paranormal. An additional purchase for large collections.—Maggie Mason Smith, Clemson University, SC

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.