From Stonewall Honor author Christopher Barzak comes a haunting novel of love and loss, in which a series of tornadoes rips through a small midwest town, forever altering the lives of those who live there.
Ellie heads up her high school yearbook, and until the tornadoes come, her biggest worry is how to raise enough money to print them. But since the day when a rash of powerful tornadoes touched down in Newfoundland, Ohio--killing more than half of the students in her school, not to mention dozens more people throughout the town--she's been haunted: by the ghosts of her best friends, by the boy next door, even by her boyfriend. And the living are haunting her too, all those left behind in the storm's wake to cope with the "gone away" pieces in their lives. A chance encounter with one ghost leads Ellie to discover a way to free the spirits that have been lingering since the storm, and she learns that she's not the only one seeing the ghosts--it's a town-wide epidemic.
Barzak (Wonders of the Invisible World) shows his expertise in conjuring a palpable sense of otherworldliness in this sad and eerie tale set in Ohio. Following a fight with her boyfriend, Noah, high school senior Ellie Frame decides to skip school to go to the lighthouse, a town landmark and popular refuge for teens. Here, she witnesses a succession of tornadoes that flatten much of the town and kill 150 people, including her three best friends and Noah. Reeling from grief, Ellie begins to see something over the next few weeks the ghosts of people she knew, all of whom speak to her as though they were alive. Others in town have seen ghosts, too, and Ellie broods over why Noah, the person she misses most, has failed to make an appearance. The gray aura of tragedy might be oppressive if not for the book's suspenseful elements and glimmers of light, small miracles that inspire hope and emotional healing. Ellie's quest to find Noah and help other ghosts who want to be released from their bonds to earth is highly spiritual and deeply moving. Ages 14 up.