Mystery of the Ballerina Ghost


By Janelle Diller, Illustrated by Adam Turner


Published by: WorldTrek Publishing; 1 edition (November 13, 2013)

Available in: paperback, Kindle

At the time of this review, there is one book available in this series. Five more books are set to launch in 2014.


Big castles are spooky—and who doesn’t love to be spooked?

Mystery of the Ballerina Ghost, the first in the new Pack-n-Go series, is a cool travel/mystery adventure that’s dialed into the older-girl, chapter-book set.

Travel is such an important component in this story, it’s not just a backdrop, it’s an essential character. Readers feel the jet lag, experience the landscape of Austria and taste the strange, delicious foods. With a smattering of German vocabulary thrown in, Mystery of the Ballerina Ghost is akin to cultural immersion. Young girls will feel as if they have packed their own bags on this adventure. And how cool is that? Passport not required.

There’s also an especially funny running joke about Austria and Australia that should get quite a few chuckles.  Future books in the series are set to visit Mexico and Thailand.

The eerie parts of the story play right into both a good ghost story and a European adventure: a creepy old man in a suit; a big, drafty castle; a glimpse of a face in an attic window; and a rocking chair that seemingly moves on its own. Each chapter ends at just the right moment, leaving tension and conflict at a high point.

The pencil drawings are particularly adept, with both bold strokes and soft lines. They enhance the exotic land and foreign characters while still remaining familiar enough to be comfortable.

As a note, this book will be free in Kindle format December 7—11, in celebration of the book’s launch.

What do you say teachers, parents and writers? Use the comment below and let’s chat….

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