The Baby-Sitters Club meets Stranger Things in this eerie middle grade novel about friendship, fitting in, and the afterlife, following a girl who discovers she’s not the only one at her new school who can see ghosts.
Wednesday Thomas sees ghosts. But that doesn’t mean she has to talk to them.
After a terrifying experience in an Arizona state park with a wicked ghost, Wednesday and her mother Olivia sell their RV and move back south to the family home in Alton, Georgia. Wednesday’s determined not to use her gift anymore—until she meets a group of girls who also know about the spirit realm.
There’s free-spirited Miki Okada and Southern belle Danni-Lynn Porter who seem to know about the ghosts who roam the school’s hallways, popular girl Alexa Scott who tells Wednesday to stay away from Miki and Danni-Lynn and not draw attention to herself, and mysterious neighbor Violet Delgado who died last year but still haunts the house across the street. Wednesday feels these girls have some kind of shared history, but it isn’t until Miki gives her an official invitation to the Dead Club that she starts to understand there’s a lot more going on with the ghosts in Alton and the girls who can see them.
And when another malevolent ghost threatens to harm Wednesday, it will take the help of new friends both living and dead to save her and banish the evil being to the spirit realm where it belongs.
Born and raised in the rural South, Karen Strong spent most of her childhood wandering the woods, meadows, and gardens on her grandmother’s land. She developed a deep adoration of books from her weekly visits to the public library. A graduate of the University of Georgia, she is an advocate of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). An avid lover of strong coffee, yellow flowers, and night skies, Karen currently lives in Atlanta. You can find her online at Karen-Strong.com.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (August 20, 2024)
“As heartwarming as it is heart-stopping, THE SECRET DEAD CLUB is a smart, sensitive look at grief, friendship and the power of lineage. This is the scary-good novel I’ve been waiting for since middle school!”
– —Leah Johnson, bestselling author of Ellie Engle Saves Herself
"An enchanting story about friendship and loss that’s equal parts touching and terrifying, and a must-have for horror enthusiasts. Get ready for a scary good time!”
– - Terry J. Benton-Walker, author of Alex Wise vs
“THE SECRET DEAD CLUB is a fast-paced tale about friendship, family, and fighting for those you love even when the odds are stacked against you…Karen Strong is one of the most talented, versatile authors on the middle grade fiction landscape today and I’m certain even more young readers will become fans by way of this wonderful book. I loved THE SECRET DEAD CLUB —it belongs on the bookshelves of anyone who enjoys a spooky, heart-filled tale.”
– - Lora Senf, Bram Stoker-nominated author of The Clackity
"A tale of when old curses meet new friendships, The Secret Dead Club speaks on helping others process grief, accepting your power, and adapting to new environments while holding on to yourself."
– - Eden Royce, award-winning author of Root Magic
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