H is for Haunted...
It's almost Halloween, and reports of strange sounds and even stranger sights are coming from Green Lawn's Shangri-La Hotel. Every day, more and more guests are being scared away. Everyone else is getting scared, too! Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose must figure out what's going on and catch the ghost - before Green Lawn turns into a ghost town!
Back in early elementary school, I read the A to Z Mysteries books until I caught up to where the author was in the series. Then I read them again. Then I read them again. And throughout all those rereadings, I definitely settled on The Haunted Hotel as my favorite.
While I was never into horror movies as a kid--and, surprisingly, never got into the wildly popular Goosebumps series, though I intend to read them soon!--I loved ghost stories, albeit pretty tame ones. In later elementary school, I devoured Ghosts Beneath Our Feet and Wait Til Helen Comes, and in middle school I got into the Fear Street series. But in early and pre-elementary school, The Haunted Hotel was the shit. It was a ridiculously tame ghost story that--spoiler alert?--is a mystery that doesn't actually involve a ghost, but it was spooky to my five-year-old brain. I loved that.
Reading it as an adult, it's kind of silly--cute, even--how much I enjoyed this book and thought of it as something scary. It's a fun memory, honestly, and I'm tempted to credit it with some of my later love of the horror genre--though, like I said, it contains no actual horror. Just mystery.
In any case, I highly recommend The Haunted Hotel to young mystery readers, especially those interested in delving into something spooky. It would make a wonderful Halloween read for a young child!