The Ghost in My Pocket by Kevin LeeChildren's Ghost Story/Friendship/Bullying
Let me start off by saying I absolutely hate the front cover of this book. Yes, I know the old saying and I know that makes me shallow but I find it to be off-putting. It looks a bit childish and unprofessional.
Okay, I just had to get that off my chest because it was the thing that bothered me every time I picked up this book to read it. However, once I got past the front cover, I found it to be a sweet, hear-warming story.
It's about a girl named Casey who has to move to another town so that her mother can receive medical care for some type of disease she has. (I'm guess cancer although the book never says and I don't know why.) Casey is awkward and shy, a bit chubby and had trouble making friends. Naturally, the transition won't be easy for her. Those fears prove correct when she is the target of bullying at school. She keeps a stiff upper lip and hope that someone will take a chance and befriend her. While she's exploring her new home's attic, she finds a locket and discovers a ghost that is attached to the locket. Casey's ghost becomes her new best friend.
This book isn't going to win any awards, but I found parts of it to be quite delightful. I very much liked how the author put the young people's feelings front and center. Because I read so much YA fiction, I find a lot of authors gloss over the small, daily disturbances of kids that can completely ruin their day or week. It doesn't have to be one big incident where a kid gets shoved into the toilet. The daily acts of being ignored cause a lot more damage and the author treats Casey with respect. I liked the relationship between Casey and the ghost and even her friendship with the class bully. I did find parts of the book and dialogue to be a bit stilted and hated the ending. It was just too unrealistic and a bit weird. Overall, though, I think young girls would probably like the story and would like the main character.