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Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Haunted Library Blog Tour {Review, Interview, Giveaway}

I'm thrilled to have The Haunted Library Blog Tour stopping by today with my reviews of books one and two, a fun interview with author Dori Hillestad Butler, and an awesome giveaway...
The Haunted Library #1
by Dori Hillestad Butler
Grosset & Dunlap

A brand-new young chapter book series from Edgar Award winner Dori Hillestad Butler!

 When ghost boy Kaz’s haunt is torn down and he is separated from his ghost family, he meets a real girl named Claire, who lives above the town library with her parents and her grandmother. Claire has a special ability to see ghosts when other humans cannot and she and Kaz quickly form a friendship. The two join forces to solve the mystery of the ghost that’s haunting the library. Could it be one of Kaz’s lost family members?

The Ghost in the Attic
(The Haunted Library #2)
by Dori Hillestad Butler
Grosset & Dunlap

A brand-new young chapter book series from Edgar Award winner Dori Hillestad Butler! 
After successfully solving the mystery of the ghost in the library, Kaz and Claire land the first case for their detective agency—a haunted attic in a neighbor’s home! With a little help from Grannie, Kaz and Claire discover that what appeared to be something spooky has a much simpler explanation.

Dori Hillestad Butler’s new chapter book series, The Haunted Library, follows the mystery adventures of a ghost boy named Kaz and the human girl who can see him, Claire. When Kaz is blown away by the wind from his ghost family he ends up in a library. Claire lives above the library with her parents and Grandma. In book one, these two unlikely friends team up to solve the mystery of the ghost in the library, and in book two, The Ghost in the Attic, Kaz and Claire continue their ghost detectiving in hopes of finding Kaz’s family.

The Haunted Library is such a cute, entertaining series to read! Butler has created an exciting world full of whimsy, charming characters, laughs, compelling mystery, and great storytelling. With a sweet, pitch-perfect voice, fresh new take on ghosts, and easy readability, The Haunted Library will easily capture the attention and imagination of younger readers. Though filled with ghosties, there’s nothing scary or frightening about this series; it’s pure fun! With simple dialogue, easily followed storylines, age appropriate vocabulary and humor, these books are great for elementary school aged readers.

With plenty of rooms for haunting and places for mysteries to lurk, there’s something so magical and exciting, yet comforting, about the library setting. Young readers will love exploring every nook and cranny with Kaz and Claire. And Kaz and Claire are both such adorable, likeable characters! Clever, brave, go-getters, these two new friends make an endearing pair. I really enjoyed joining Kaz and Claire on their mystery solving adventures!

I must also mention the awesome illustrations throughout the books! These delightful pictures perfectly capture the fun story.

My Final Thoughts: With amusing and imaginative storylines, exciting mystery adventures, and wonderful characters, The Haunted Library books are fun reads perfect for young chapter book readers.

(for both books)

What three words best describe The Haunted Library?

Grab a copy of The Haunted Library and answer the following:
favorite chapter
Chapter 1…because it’s the set up chapter. We see ghost boy Kaz, who is the main character, in his original “haunt” with his family right before the “solids” come and tear it down. Right before everything changes.

favorite page?
Page 14…because of the art!

favorite place/setting?
The library itself, which is located in an old Victorian style house. I’ve always loved old Victorian houses…especially old Victorian houses with turrets. In book 1, Claire and Kaz are in the turret room and Claire tells Kaz that it’s her favorite room. I expected to set a lot of scenes in that room, but I’ve written five books in the series and sadly, the turret room is hardly ever mentioned again after book 1. Given how I set things up in book 1, it just doesn’t work to have the characters in that room very often.

flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentence teaser:
“He had tried it once. It made him feel skizzy.”

What inspired The Haunted Library? How did the story come to be?
I was working on book 6 of my Buddy Files series. Book 6 is called The Case of the School Ghost. My husband didn’t like where I was going with that book. Without giving too much away, he said, “You can’t do that! If you want to write a ghost series, write a ghost series. This a dog series.” So…I changed the plot of The Case of the School Ghost and started making notes on The Haunted Library.

Can you tell us a bit about your characters Kaz and Claire? What makes them special or unique?
Kaz is a ghost boy who doesn’t have very good ghost skills. He can’t glow, he can’t wail, and he doesn’t like to pass through solid objects. He’s also never been around “solids” before. He’s never been separated from his family. He’s never even been out of his haunt. So everything is brand new to him.
Claire is a “solid” girl who can see ghosts when they’re not glowing and hear ghosts when they’re not wailing.
While Kaz is something of a “scaredy ghost,” Claire is brave. They balance each other.
Do you believe in ghosts? If you HAD to be haunted by a ghost, who’s ghost would you choose? 
I wish I could say I believed in ghosts. I would like to believe in ghosts. But alas, I’m too much of a rationalist. If I was going to be haunted by a ghost, I think I’d like to be haunted by my dad’s ghost. He’d be a fun ghost. He’d make me laugh. Plus it would just be nice to be able to talk to him again.

Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at wasting time online. And I need to become LESS awesome at it. I’ve made progress. I read an article (online—ha ha!) about how we are most productive if we work for 52 minutes, then take a 17 minute break. So I tried it! It’s amazing how much I get done in a day when I divide up my day and actually set my timer for 52 and 17 minute increments. Even I can stay offline for 52 minutes! Of course, the point of the article is that you should get up and get away from your desk after 52 minutes. You’re not supposed to spend your 17 minute “break” ONLINE. But simply being mindful of the time I am spending online and being more purposeful about it helps.

I’m really embarrassed to admit I need dessert every day. And it’s better if I can have dessert twice a day. It doesn’t have to be much. Even three Trader Joe’s sea salt and turbinado sugar dark chocolate almonds will suffice. I get cranky without my dessert.

The last great book I read was Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. I loved the voice and the relationships.

If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by The Haunted Library, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?
It would be a chocolate cupcake with whipped marshmallow frosting and a cookie ghost propped up in the frosting. I would call it a “Kaz Cake.”
Thanks again to Dori Hillestad Butler for appearing.  For other stops on the Haunted Library Blog Tour please check

Dori Hillestad Butler grew up writing, for she had no brothers or sisters to play with until she was eight years old. The first book she published was The Great Tooth Fairy Rip-Off , it took her many years to sell that book, followed by four more picture books. She then started writing YA books short stories have appeared in anthologies entitled, The Green Umbrella and Other Sports Stories (Highlights for Children, 1995) and Not the Only One (Alyson Publications, 1994) and in magazines including CricketSpiderHighlights for Children,Children's DigestChild Life and a variety of Sunday School publications. Dori also writes educational materials, edit stories for, and has a regular book review coloumn in her local newspaper. She currently lives in Coralville, Iowa with her husband, two sons, Ben and Andy, a black cocker spaniel named Molly, a cat named Ashley and a betta fish named Willie.

Win a paperback copy of 
The Haunted Library!
One lucky cupcake will win a copy of the fun first book in this series.
-US only
-ends 9/14
-must be 13+ to enter
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 4 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes in the mail
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Unknown said...

HI Dori!! Your book sounds so fantastic!! I really like the pictures that are pictured here. So much imagination. I can't wait to read them to my boy!

Unknown said...

Hi! The book sounds great!(:

anne s. said...

looks like such an entertaining read for our second grader! would love to win :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful artwork! It reminds me of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends mixed with The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy.

Robert D. said...

Love the artwork! Looks like a book kids will pick up right away.

Unknown said...

Thank you for the giveaway! This book looks like it's going to be a great read. :)