Reviews for Ghost Fever/Mal de Fantasma

by Joe Hayes

School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 3-6-In his signature easy style, Hayes tells the story of Frank Padilla, a man who will not admit to the existence of ghosts. When he moves into a haunted house in Arizona, he's a little spooked by the strange noises and mysteriously moved items. It is his 14-year-old daughter, Elena, who finds out what the ghost wants, but not before almost losing her own life. At just short of 90 pages for both alternating English and Spanish text, this is a quick, riveting read. Definitely a step above R. L. Stine's "Goosebumps" series (Scholastic), it is reminiscent of Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (HarperCollins, 1981). The frequent black-and-white pencil drawings are undistinguished, but do extend the story, and the scary-looking cover of a skeletal girl in her quincea-era dress will definitely sell the book. This is an ideal choice, whether in English or in the informed Spanish translation, for reluctant readers. It is straightforward, but swiftly plotted. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 4-6-Unlike some of Hayes's other work, this book is one stand-alone story, presented bilingually, with the Spanish and English on the same page. The storyteller's voice is its strongest asset: "This one happened way back in the 1950's in Duston, Arizona, which is the town I grew up in." Cole Cash is a shop owner in the community, who also makes money renting houses that are "across the tracks." But there is one empty house that he probably shouldn't have bought. Finally there is a taker, and when 14 year-old Elena moves in with her dad, she soon meets the ghost of one of the previous owners of the house, a young girl named Mariana Mendoza, who died in a tragic accident after stealing money from her parents for her quincenera dress. After this encounter Elena comes down with a high fever and it's up to her abuela to make things right. Luckily, her grandmother knows how to deal with ghosts. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

In this immediate, first-person story of the urban-legend variety, Elena Padilla meets a ghost-girl, who asks for Elena's help in righting a wrong she had committed while alive. English and Spanish texts are presented in alternating paragraphs on the well-designed pages, and the format will encourage reluctant readers while incidentally increasing suspense. This is a good choice for libraries where scary stories are popular. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Back