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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Elspeth Amesbury is a ten-year-old girl who doesn't have many friends. But she has a best friend in Nikki Pettengil, with whom she is excited to go trick-and-treating on this year's Halloween. One day, while walking home from school, the two friends hear a dog baying from the old abandoned house on the corner of Bax and Beechum streets. On Halloween, Elspeth, Nikki, and a boy named Damon Clarke decide to enter the house to see what's going on. After a frightful experience, they return home, only for Elspeth and Nikki to discover the next day at school that Damon had died at home. Plagued by grief already, Elspeth also finds herself haunted by the ghost of a dog. Will she be able to solve the mystery of the abandoned house? Find out in Elspeth by Christopher D. Wayland.
A moving children's tale about friendship and empathy with a tinge of the paranormal, Elspeth is an enthralling read even adult readers will appreciate. Christopher D. Wayland tells a captivating story full of mystery and intrigue that is thematically rich and emotionally resonant. The narrative touches upon some relevant social issues, presented in a manner that ensures younger readers will find them easy to grasp. Elspeth is a riveting character who you will find relatable. Her big heart and kindness toward others make her an immensely likable person you cannot help but root for. I particularly enjoyed her relationships with her parents and friends. Elspeth is one of the best books I've read this year, and I can't recommend it highly enough.