By: Cathy Brett
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: August 2012
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: September 2012
There are good YA’s - there are great YA’s - some just so-so - but very rarely does one come along where not only is the plot fantastic and hysterical all at the same time, but the illustrations are phenomenal. This is Scarlett Dedd.
Even before the death of the entire Dedd family, Scarlett Dedd had to constantly deal with the dead jokes from other kids. Not only was the last name a source of teasing, but Scarlett was also the eldest child of the oddest family on the street. They were poor, the house already looked like a broken-down, haunted chalet, and her father - a writer by the name of Wolfgang - had a garden where he grew some of the most disgusting food so that they could ‘eat healthy’ and save money on groceries. On top of all that, Scarlett was extremely pasty and her best friend’s name is Psycho.
Along comes a seven-day trip with the school where she’ll have to go and explore the WWI trenches while staying in a youth hostel that makes her sick. Besides all that, Psycho isn’t going, so Scarlett wants to stay home, too. What better way to allow herself an out? Make herself sick.
Well…she decides to make risotto using the wild mushroom that’s found in Dad’s garden. Now the mushroom is supposed to make you sick, unfortunately…it also made her and the rest of the family who decided to eat the risotto leftovers dead as doornails!
Around the neighborhood people see bikes going along the street with no rider, they hear doors slamming inside the Dedd’s now haunted house - even the windows fog up as if someone is breathing on the glass from the inside. When Scarlett learns that she’s nothing but a ghost, she feels more than a little lonely and decides that to not be alone (and have to be stuck with just her annoying family for the rest of eternity), she will cause accidents that will take her group of friends out one by one. And hilarity ensues!
As I stated, this is one of those unique books that offers humor, characters you won’t forget, and illustrations that are to die for! (No pun intended).
Quill Says: The best gift you can get for Halloween….or any other time, for that matter!