The Haunting of Henry Davis - Book Review

The Haunting of Henry Davis was written by Kathryn Siebel. I was provided with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

About the book:

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Ghosts only haunt when they've left something behind...

When Henry Davis moves into the neighborhood, Barbara Anne and her classmates at Washington Carver Elementary don't know what to make of him. He's pale, small, odd. For curious Barbara Anne, Henry's also a riddle--a boy who sits alone at recess sketching in a mysterious notebook, a boy, she soon learns, who's being haunted by a ghost named Edgar.

With the help of some new friends, this unlikely duo is off on an adventure to discover who Edgar was while alive and why he's haunting Henry now. Together, they might just help Edgar find what he needs to finally be at peace.

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My review:

When I started reading, I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy The Haunting of Henry Davis, but after a few chapters I couldn’t put the book down. I’d say I would suggest this book to possibly 3rd, 4th, 5th graders. It depends on how easily scared they are. As a “going in to 6th grader”, I kept thinking Ana would enjoy this as a quick read for fun… but then I thought it might actually have her scared. It isn’t that it has SCARY chapters… just that it has the little subtle things (a marble rolling across the floor, the moving Ouija board, a barely heard whisper…) that makes you hold your breath and wait for what’s going to happen. I’d definitely want to give Ana a heads up before giving it to her.

While the book is definitely about the haunting, it’s really about friendship. Deep meaningful friendships that last a lifetime. I really enjoyed seeing Henry and Barbara Anne figure out their friendship through the book. How to support each other, how to forgive each other, how to listen to each other, how to be good friends to each other. It was even better when they brought Zack and Rachel into their little group.

I also have to say the story did a great job about dealing with secrets. When to keep a secret, when to share a secret, how to support a friend with a secret they’re holding onto. Definitely a great topic for young readers… and actually all ages.

About the author:

Kathryn Siebel teaches humanities at Billings Middle School in Seattle and works with elementary school students at the Green Lake School-Age Care Program. She has worked in educational publishing and as an English teacher and librarian and has an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is also the author of The Trouble with Twins.