The forgotten girl

India Hill Brown, 1991-

Book - 2019

When eleven-year-old Iris sneaks out at night to make snow angels, she was not expecting to raise the ghost of Avery Moore, a girl her own age; but bringing to light the segregated and abandoned black cemetery seems like the perfect way to help Avery get the recognition she craves, and it will also be a good idea for the school project about the history of her small North Carolina town, where racial tensions are never far from the surface--only it seems that if Avery gets everything she wants Ir...is will join her as a ghost, best friends forever.

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Subjects
Genres
Paranormal fiction
Published
New York : Scholastic Press 2019.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
250 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9781338317244
1338317245
9781338606058
1338606050
Main Author
India Hill Brown, 1991- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Iris often has trouble differentiating between reality and her nightmares. This is especially true when the nightmares become so real that she can literally feel the goosebumps raise on her skin. One night she realizes her dreams might be more than what they seem when she wakes to her window blown wide open and the distant shadow of a young girl calling out to her from the woods by her house. Inspired by her nightmare, Iris sets out to learn the origin of the shadowed girl and learns that the woods she plays in were once a segregated cemetery for Black citizens. In Brown's debut, she sets the stage for a promising writing career as she crafts strong middle-grade characters who will undoubtedly be enjoyed by children and adults alike. The pacing of the plot will surely send a chill through the readers' spines as they follow Iris and her journey with the paranormal. Brown takes on the daunting task of conveying fright and the growing realization of marginalization through child's voices with ease in this eerie read. Grades 3-6. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Both historically and culturally relevant, Brown's thoughtful ghost story explores the legacy of racism through segregation. In North Carolina, Iris and her best friend Daniel, both African-American, sneak out one night to play in just-fallen snow, only to stumble upon the abandoned grave of Avery Moore, who died in 1956 at their current age: 11. After repeatedly finding her bedroom window open, Iris sees "the shimmering, gray shadow of a girl emerging from her window." When Iris and Daniel decide to conduct their social studies project on abandoned graves, they find that Avery's is part of an entire segregated black cemetery that has faded from history. Iris struggles with erasure at school and getting less attention than her sibling at home, ideas that intertwine as Avery's ghost emerges and seeks recognition. Through Daniel's close-knit family—his single mother and superstitious grandmother, both coping with his father's death—the novel also explores the multifaceted nature of grief alongside close childhood friendships and the historical significance of racism. Although secondary characters can feel a bit one-dimensional, the story is robust enough to balance it out, making this a solid debut in which the horrors are both historical and spectral. Ages 8–12. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary. (Nov.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 3–7—Iris is a young African American girl who loves the snow and adventure. She had been warned by her parents not to play in the woods behind her house. One night, Iris gets her best friend Daniel to sneak out into the woods to play in the snow. They stumble upon an abandoned graveyard and Iris uncovers the name Avery Moore on one of the tombstones and decides to find out who she was. Avery begins to visit Iris in her dreams, asking for help to be remembered. Iris convinces Daniel to make segregated graveyards the focus of their group project at school. Their initial research turns up little evidence of Avery's life or death. A conversation with Daniel's grandmother Suga begins to point them in the right direction. Iris and Daniel will have to work together to make sure their voices are heard at school and that Avery Moore is remembered. This is a story about the ways African American communities have been and continue to be marginalized. America's segregated past and the structures still in place to keep us separate are explored through Avery's experiences then and Iris's experiences now. The horror elements in the story are fantastically creepy and the author uses a mixture of urban legends and tall tales to create a sense of fear and foreboding. VERDICT A solid title for public and school libraries in search of horror with roots in black history.—Desiree Thomas, Worthington Library, OH Copyright 2019 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When eleven-year-old Iris sneaks out at night to make snow angels, she was not expecting to raise the ghost of Avery Moore, a girl her own age; but bringing to light the segregated and abandoned black cemetery seems like the perfect way to help Avery getthe recognition she craves, and it will also be a good idea for the school project about the history of her small North Carolina town, where racial tensions are never far from the surface--only it seems that if Avery gets everything she wants Iris will join her as a ghost, best friends forever.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Sneaking out with her best friend to play in the freshly fallen snow on a cold winter night, Iris discovers an abandoned grave before experiencing vivid nightmares that compel her investigation into the story of a Black cemetery from the segregation era.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"This ghost story gave me chill after chill. It will haunt you." -- R.L. Stine, author of Goosebumps"Do you know what it feels like to be forgotten?"On a cold winter night, Iris and her best friend, Daniel, sneak into a clearing in the woods to play in the freshly fallen snow. There, Iris carefully makes a perfect snow angel -- only to find the crumbling gravestone of a young girl, Avery Moore, right beneath her.Immediately, strange things start to happen to Iris: She begins having vivid nightmares. She wakes up to find her bedroom window wide open, letting in the snow. She thinks she sees the shadow of a girl lurking in the woods. And she feels the pull of the abandoned grave, calling her back to the clearing...Obsessed with figuring out what's going on, Iris and Daniel start to research the area for a school project. They discover that Avery's grave is actually part of a neglected and forgotten Black cemetery, dating back to a time when White and Black people were kept separate in life -- and in death. As Iris and Daniel learn more about their town's past, they become determined to restore Avery's grave and finally have proper respect paid to Avery and the others buried there.But they have awakened a jealous and demanding ghost, one that's not satisfied with their plans for getting recognition. One that is searching for a best friend forever -- no matter what the cost.The Forgotten Girl is both a spooky original ghost story and a timely and important storyline about reclaiming an abandoned segregated cemetery."A harrowing yet empowering tale reminding us that the past is connected to the present, that every place and every person has a story, and that those stories deserve to be told." -- Renée Watson, New York Times bestselling author of Piecing Me Together