Olivia wants a new life—and her wish might be granted by the unlikeliest allies. A heartfelt, gently Gothic novel from Claire Legrand that School Library Journal calls a “not-too-scary ghost story.”
Olivia Stellatella is having a rough year.
Her mother’s left, her neglectful father—the maestro of a failing orchestra—has moved her and her grandmother into the city’s dark, broken-down concert hall to save money, and her only friend is Igor, an ornery stray cat.
Just when she thinks life couldn’t get any weirder, she meets four ghosts who haunt the hall. They need Olivia’s help—if the hall is torn down, they’ll be stuck as ghosts forever, never able to move on.
Olivia has to do the impossible for her shadowy new friends: Save the concert hall. But helping the dead has powerful consequences for the living…and soon it’s not just the concert hall that needs saving.
Claire Legrand used to be a musician until she realized she couldn’t stop thinking about the stories in her head. Now Ms. Legrand is a full-time writer living in New Jersey. She has written two middle grade novels—The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, one of the New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing in 2012, and The Year of Shadows—as well as the young adult novel Winterspell. Visit her at Claire-Legrand.com and on Twitter @ClaireLegrand.
"Claire LeGrand’s fantastically spooky The Year of Shadows will keep you turning its pages well into the night, even though the floorboards are creaking and funny shapes lurk in the corner of your eye. Such is the allure of tempestuous, terrific Olivia, the complex and utterly real heroine who is suffering from one misfortune and indignity too many--and that's before the ghosts arrive. Though we soon see that sometimes ghosts are the least of the things that haunt us, the book assures us that with spirit and hope we can create light in the most shadowy of places. Also, like all the best books, it has a really great cat."
– Anne Ursu, author of Breadcrumbs
"A sad, happy, strange book, with some of the most memorable ghosts I've ever read. It's full of shadows, but it's also full of sparks and light and big, glowing scenes, and while it'll break your heart more than once, it somehow manages to glue it all back together by the end. I loved it."
– Stefan Bachmann, author of The Peculiar and The Whatnot