I recently picked up “The Seer of Shadows” by Avi when I was in my favorite bookstore. It looked interesting and quick to read and, to be honest, I hadn’t read a YA book in a while. The story centers on young Horace who is apprenticed out to a photographer in the late 1800’s in New York City. His employer creates a way to double expose pictures so that it seems that a ghostly presence is in the picture as well as the subject. However, in his quest to dupe grieving patrons, a real ghost gets released and wreaks havoc; and only Horace can see and understand her.
This was an interesting, almost gothic, read. It went quickly and had lots of interesting details about photography of that time period. While some young readers may find some of the ghostly parts scary (this was one angry, abused ghost), there was a nice resolution to the story (though I wasn’t overly fond of the ending). The “bonus section” of the book had additional materials and information on photography as well. Avi, once again, does not disappoint. What amazes me about Avi is the range of his writing — from the Poppy books to Charlotte Doyle to Nothing but the Truth to something like this — he constantly reinvents his niche as a writer and has proven himself to be versatile and interesting.
I may be getting this one for our school library! I’d give it 4 Stars!