By Sonia Gensler
AR level: 5.3
AR points: 11.0
I suggest grades 6th through 12th.
I have a great respect and regard for the Cherokee. Also, my husband and children are registered tribe members, so that only makes me more attune to the culture and history of this Native American tribe.
Gensler does an amazing job here establishing a character who is out of her comfort zone. Posing as a teacher in the late 1900s, Willie gets herself into deep water when a creepy murder mystery haunts her new school. I could tell this book had a great deal of research go into it, but the pace was also excellent. A chilling teen read for the summer or the classroom!
Description from B&N:
When Willie arrives in Indian Territory, she knows only one thing: no one can find out who she really is. To escape a home she doesn’t belong in, she assumes the name of a former classmate and accepts a teaching position at the Cherokee Female Seminary.
Nothing prepares her for what she finds. Her pupils are the daughters of the Cherokee elite—educated and more wealthy than she—and the school is cloaked in mystery. A student drowned in the river last year, and the girls whisper that she was killed by a jealous lover. Willie’s room is the very room the dead girl slept in. The students say her spirit haunts it.
Willie doesn’t believe in ghosts, but when strange things start happening at the school, she isn’t sure anymore. She’s also not sure what to make of a boy from the nearby boys’ school who has taken an interest in her—and whose past is cloaked in secrets. Soon, even Willie has to admit that the revenant may be trying to tell her something. . . .