The Seer of Shadows is the perfect eerie read for a chilly Halloween season. Fourteen-year-old Horace Carpentine is making his own way as a photographer’s assistant in New York in 1872. He’s a principled, rational, observant young adult. Horace doesn’t always approve of his employer’s methods, but he’s dependent on Mr. Middleditch for his job and his board. Mr. Middleditch has an exciting new commission for a portrait of a society lady, to be placed on her late daughter’s grave. This seems like the perfect opportunity for Mr. Middleditch to run a con on the wealthy woman. What if the spirit of Mrs. Von Macht‘s daughter, Eleanora, also “appears” in the portrait? After all, a double negative print can be easily faked in the darkroom.
The trouble is that Eleanora truly does appear in the photos, and she’s a very angry ghost. The family was not the happy trio it seemed, and Eleanora is out for revenge. Horace and his new friend Pegg, the Von Macht’s servant girl, are caught in the middle of this showdown. The plot fits right in with the spiritualism that was popular at this time period. The conclusion is so exciting I couldn’t wait to see if Horace and Pegg would survive the ghost’s revenge. Recommended for upper elementary students.
reviewed by Victoria