Annette Laing's The Snipesville Chronicles
Ghosts of War: Fallen in Fredericksburg
Elementary , Fiction , Historical / March 19, 2018

Fourth in a series about a trio of 6th grade paranormal sleuths, this story finds the protagonists once again on the trail of historical clues. Anderson, Greg, and Julie are practicing songs for their band, Ghosts of War, in the basement of Anderson’s uncle’s old antique store in Frederickburg, Virginia, when a Civil War ghost appears. Something is not quite right about this ghost, and as the friends dig deeper into the mystery, they find there is more history surrounding them than they’d ever imagined. Discovering the ghost’s background story is of utmost importance as the anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg looms. The history relayed in this novel is impressive, yet has been written in such a way to keep a young reader’s interest. Parts are humorous, and there are also life lessons and emotional scenes, such as Anderson’s care and concern for his ailing mother. Greg is also dealing with problems at home, as he goes to family AA meetings with his father, a Vietnam veteran. The three main characters may seem familiar to Harry Potter readers, as they have some of the same physical and personality traits as Rowling’s protagonists, such as Greg’s red hair, Julie’s cleverness…

Ghosts of War: AWOL in North Africa
Elementary , Fiction , Historical / March 19, 2018

Friends and band mates Anderson, Greg and Julie are 6th grade students living in modern-day Fredericksburg, Virginia. In the previous two books of the Ghosts of War series, they discovered a trunk in Anderson’s uncle’s junk shop that contained old war relics. Although they had tried to avoid the trunk since the last near-disaster with a hand grenade, there was an emergency that necessitated the use of a medic kit that was inside. As expected, a ghost appeared shortly after, and the kids had another mystery on their hands. This case seemed easy at first—the soldier’s identification was fastened to the medic kit, and so Anderson, Greg, and Julie jumped right into researching his records. When they found a living relative, however, the real mystery began as they discovered a packet of letters that had been partially blacked out. Meanwhile the kids were dealing with the ongoing problem of an 8th grade bully, Belman, who seems to be a recurring issue throughout the series. The amount of information on WWII in North Africa is in depth, yet handled with an easy-to-follow clarity for young readers. This lesser-known part of the war, along with many facts on conscientious objectors and African-American…