Beherns, Katherine, Breakdown (Atlas of Cursed Places, #1). Pgs. 96. DarbyCreek, 2016. $7.99. Language: PG (2 swears, no “f”s), Mature Content: PG, Violence: PG
When Maddie and her boyfriend go to a restaurant by Pike’s Cave with her mother to investigate a disappearance, there is a ceiling cave-in. Right before the cave-in, however, Maddie sees a ghost who tells her an evil spirt named Pike is responsible. The next day, Maddie’s mother is gone. As Maddie and Owen retrace her mom’s steps, they start to wonder if Pike’s Cave really is cursed. Can Maddie and Owen find Maddie’s mom? Is an evil spirit really behind two different disappearances?
This hi-lo reader is intense, suspenseful, and well-written. The characters are likable and complex, especially for such a short book. Each chapter ends in a cliffhanger, making this book impossible to put down. Definitely a book that belongs in any library’s lightning read collection. MS, HS. ESSENTIAL. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.