Book Review: St Grizzle's School for Girls, Ghosts and Runaway Grannies by Karen McCombie

St Grizzle's School for Girls, Ghosts and Runaway Grannies by Karen McCombie is a fun children's book, and the second in this series. I did not read the first book, but I think I was able to get up to speed quickly. When local schools are asked to make a film showcasing the surrounding area, Dani and the rest of St Grizzle’s set to work. But Spencer and his mates at the village school are determined to sabotage the work of the smelly Grizzlers. To Dani’s surprise, help comes in the form of Granny Viv who has secretly taken up residence in the school’s tree house with Downboy the dog. Together they come up with the perfect ghostly video but will Granny Viv be able to stay once the competition’s over?

St Grizzle's School for Girls, Ghosts and Runaway Grannies is a fun read that will keep middle grade and younger readers entertained and engaged. I think that most readers will be able to empathize with Dani, her desire to be respected and liked and the mistakes she makes a long the way. I found the setting, characters, and story set up to be interesting and charming, with just enough wackiness to make me smile through good portions of the read. However, there were also enough serious moments of Dani thinking and dealing with the stresses of growing up that I was kept on my toes. I liked the inclusion of the video making, and think that it is something many kids in the target audience are interested in or involved in, but worry that in the long run it might date the series, since technology and tools change so fast. The illustrations that pepper the book add an extra layer of fun, and make the read even more entertaining.  Since this is te second book in a series, and I missed the first, there were moments in which I felt like I was missing important background, but I still greatly enjoyed the read, and rather want to go back and read what I missed so that I can see how the school (and the characters) ended up in the current state. 

St Grizzle's School for Girls, Ghosts and Runaway Grannies is a fun and touching read, but one that those following the series will get more out of than those that not. A coming of age story with wild and wacky characters and some good fun right along childhood angst.
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