By Keir Graff
AR level: 5.6
AR points: 9.0
I suggest 3rd through 7th grade.
What if you could take an elevator to visit the dead? If you’re intrigued by that idea, this book is for you. A little creepy but not too scary, The Phantom Tower will keep you on your toes as a set of twins tries to figure out the mystery behind their new Chicago apartment building.
But there’s deeper meaning here. Most kids will have struggled with some sort of loss, and this book asks us to reach inside ourselves and let go of the past, so that we can look forward to the future and those still in our lives.
Description from B&N:
Colm and Mal are twins so identical their own mom can’t tell them apart, but they’re different in just about every other way. Mal’s a pragmatist while Colm’s a dreamer, and they bicker and battle constantly. Neither brother is excited to be moving to Chicago for a fresh start with their mom just after their dad’s death. But nothing cures homesickness like intrigue—and their new home, Brunhild Tower, has plenty of it: mysterious elderly neighbors who warn against wandering the building at midday, strange sounds in the walls, and an elevator missing a button for the thirteenth floor.
One day, that button appears—and when the doors open on the missing floor, the boys are greeted by the strangest puzzle yet: a twin building that is stuck in time and bustling with activity. All of Brunhild Tower’s former residents live on in this phantom tower, where the rules of the real world don’t apply. But when the brothers and their newfound friends discover they’re all trapped by an ancient curse, they must band together to set everyone free before it’s too late.