The Trespassers, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, was a thrift-store impulse buy.
First of all, I can’t just bypass the fact that at some point in human history, two grown adults looked at their precious baby and decided that “Zilpha” was going to be the word that best described her.
Aside from the name of the author, this was a great book. It has a lot of the same suspense as The Turn of the Screw, but with a much better ending. And it’s written on a middle-grade reading level (I think), so it’s a really fast read.
But it’s not just a fast read. It’s got some really good character development, realistic kids and adults (you rarely get both in the same book, I’ve found), and what might be the most realistic and down-to-earth treatment of special needs I’ve ever seen. I say it’s realistic because the narrator’s younger brother is… different. And that’s about the only way he’s ever described. His behavior suggests he might be autistic, but he might also just be a little odd. You don’t ever really know, because the main character doesn’t really know.
Oh, and also, said brother may or may not be able to see ghosts. You never really find out. The story is about a brother and sister exploring a “haunted” house, then meeting the new family who’s moved in. And then the new kid who lives there starts acting really weird, and they have to figure out why.
I would recommend this to anybody who enjoys/enjoyed Goosebumps, but wants something a little more well-constructed. ♦