Learn more about CCRLS
Reading recommendations from Novelist
Online learning resources
Cover image for Girl meets ghost
Girl meets ghost


First Aladdin hardcover edition.
New York : Aladdin, 2013.
Physical Description:
213 pages ; 22 cm.
Series title(s):
Number in series:
bk. 1.
"Seventh-grader Kendall can see dead people. Not only can she see them, she can speak to them. . . and they can speak to her. They want Kendall to be a psychic sleuth and figure out what unresolved issues are keeping them from moving on"-- Provided by publisher.
Reading Level:
Ages 9-14.


Call Number
J Barnholdt, L.

On Order



A tween girl becomes a reluctant medium in this start to a hilariously haunting series.

There's an old saying that "dead men tell no tales"--but that saying is definitely not true. Just ask twelve-year-old Kendall Williams, who can't get dead people to stop talking to her, no matter how politely she asks. It's pretty frustrating being able to hear and see people that no one else can. For one thing, her friends and family think she's going crazy. And for another, being spotted by your crush while talking to (seemingly) no one is positively mortifying. But Kendall is going to have to learn how to deal, because the only way to quiet the dead is to help them.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-8-Seventh-grader Kendall Williams is able to see and communicate with ghosts. She has had this ability her entire life, but stopped mentioning it some time ago. If she helps the ghosts, they are able to move on into the afterlife, and they leave. She meets a gymnast ghost who is trying to move on, but the trick is figuring out what Danielle needs to do to actually get there. Kendall tries to maintain a semblance of a normal life; she and her best friend are both interested in boys. Kendall likes Brandon, and Ellie likes his best friend. Trying to figure out if Brandon likes her back, what to wear, and how she should style her hair take up a good deal of Kendall's time that's not occupied by school or helping ghosts. Other drama comes from her father's possible relationship with a neighbor and the fact that Brandon's mother, who is also a ghost, has been randomly showing up as well. Kendall is able to help Danielle, but there are a lot of issues left unresolved, signaling that there is sure to be a sequel.-Jesten Ray, Seattle Public Library, WA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Barnholdt (Fake Me a Match) kicks off a lighthearted and entertaining series starring seventh-grader Kendall Williams, a detective for the dead. Kendall has seen ghosts her entire life, and she learned early on that the best way to get rid of them is to help them tie up loose ends and "move into the afterlife." Daniella, the pushy teenage ghost of a former cheerleader, insists that Kendall find one of her friends, but Kendall has much more on her mind-namely terrible math grades, minor family dramas, and a crush on classmate Brandon. Then, to further complicate Kendall's life, an unusually creepy ghost visits with an indecipherable threat. Stylish and creative Kendall, who does her hair to match her mood, is a highly relatable protagonist, and her energetic narration is full of humor (her snarky conversations with Daniella are particularly fun). Barnholdt provides steady suspense and approaches dark topics with a refreshing dose of levity; her cliffhanger ending will leave readers eager for the sequel. Ages 9-12. Agent: Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Trident Media Group. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

As if navigating the dating scene for the first time isn't difficult enough, twelve-year-old Kendall, a medium, must help a young ghost find closure and also figure out why her crush's dead mom is stalking her. Kendall's colloquial tween voice is authentic--chatty, bold, and a bit annoying--but the two separate plot lines lack a solid connection. (c) Copyright 2013. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Life gets complicated for a seventh-grade girl just starting her first romance when ghosts that only she can see interfere. Kendall, 12, doesn't know how to approach cute Brandon, until her most recent ghost starts giving her boy-chasing advice. Unbeknownst to anyone, Kendall has seen ghosts since she was a baby; once she solves the ghosts' problems, they move on. Her current ghost, a 16-year-old gymnast named Daniella, knows she's dead but can't remember what her problem is except that it involves someone named Jen. Kendall researches the problem online and finds a likely Jen but succeeds only in annoying her. Meanwhile, Kendall gets an actual date with Brandon, but Ellie does better in her romance with Brandon's friend Kyle. Brandon keeps discovering Kendall talking with the invisible Daniella and backs off their relationship. Can Kendall satisfy Daniella's ghostly needs while simultaneously pursuing Brandon and avoiding a restraining order from Jen? And what about a new ghost that scares even Kendall? Barnholdt keeps the narrative light and her characters chirpy. Kendall might get discouraged, but she's always ready to bounce back with a new hairstyle or a spiffy outfit. Much of the comedy comes from Kendall's attempts to explain her increasingly outlandish actions as she tries to hide the truth about her ghosts. Funny and bubbly. (Paranormal comedy. 9-12)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.