Thursday, April 23, 2020

The Forgotten Girl by India Hill Brown - ESSENTIAL

The Forgotten Girl by India Hill Brown, 250 pages. Scholastic Publishing, 2019. $14.

Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG



Iris, 11yo, has a history of nightmares and not being able to separate her dreams from reality since her father died the previous year. When Iris and her best friend Daniel get assigned a school project on the history of the town, a whole new world opens up when they decide to research the forgotten, segregated cemetery in the wooded area by her house. When Iris starts getting visits from a young girl, Avery, in the middle of the night, she isn’t sure if it is her imagination or a ghost. But Avery is an unsettled spirit who died when she was 11 and wants to be avenged, or at the very least, friends to die in the woods so she can have friends to stay and play, forever.

The Forgotten Girl does a great job of bringing up historical injustices of segregated cemeteries and how differently the races were treated, even 50 years ago; but still tells a compelling supernatural, scary story that middle school and upper elementary students would like to read. There is nothing too graphic or gory in the writing, yet it is just spooky and creepy enough to be interesting. The fears and unknown of real world things in Iris and Daniel’s view point is realistic and Brown keeps the parents and teachers just far enough out of the story to not ruin the events.

Dina W. - ELA teacher

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