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A Curious Tale of the In-Between

Review

A Curious Tale of the In-Between

Lauren DeStefano --- author of the young adult series the Internment Chronicles and the Chemical Garden Trilogy --- delivers A CURIOUS TALE OF THE IN-BETWEEN, a magical middle grade novel following a young girl named Pram.
 
Pram, short for Pragmatic, is raised by her aunts in a home for the elderly. Her only friend growing up was Felix, a ghost only she could see. However, when Pram starts going to public school, she befriends a boy named Clarence who is grieving for his late mother. The three of them search for Pram’s mystery father and the ghost of Clarence’s mother and find plenty of adventure on the way.
At the start of the story, I found myself wondering if A CURIOUS TALE OF THE IN-BETWEEN should truly be middle grade. The opening scene describes a nurse discovering a pregnant woman, Pram’s mother, hanging from a dogwood tree. If the reader is comfortable with that passage, the tale DeStefano weaves is great for that age range.
 
There is an eerie tone in this book, and the presence of ghosts and a spirit world make it an amazing read to prepare for the Halloween season. However, just like I believe that this middle grade book is great for readers above that age range, it would also be a good read at all times of the year.
 
Pram’s adventures are both exciting and touching, making A CURIOUS TALE OF THE IN-BETWEEN a gripping story that I could not put down. 
 
DeStefano knows how to build enchanting characters. As a curious young girl with an ability to see ghosts, Pram sees the world through a unique perspective. She is an intelligent, caring girl who comes into herself throughout the tale.  As Clarence, another complex character, grows closer to Pram, he teaches both her and the readers about the meaning of friendship.
 
At its heart, A CURIOUS TALE OF THE IN-BETWEEN is about two grieving 11-year-olds, and their experiences navigating loss will teach readers of any age different outlooks on death and how to deal with death in their own lives. The amazing learning opportunities are not limited to mourning; this book has taught me about the meaning of family and the importance of loving yourself.
 
Pram’s adventures are both exciting and touching, making A CURIOUS TALE OF THE IN-BETWEEN a gripping story that I could not put down. Even though the events in this book came to a satisfying resolution, there is plenty of room to continue with Pram’s story. If DeStefano writes a sequel, I would love to read more about Pram and her remarkable world. 

Reviewed by Alyssa L. on September 3, 2015

A Curious Tale of the In-Between
by Lauren DeStefano