STARRED REVIEW
February 11, 2014

A haunted lighthouse’s secrets

By Saundra Mitchell

In Broken Tooth, Maine, there is the legend of the Grey Man, a spirit who haunts the old lighthouse on Jackson Rock. But the Grey Man is more than a ghost. He’s a cursed man who must gather the souls of those who die under his light. The Grey Man knows there’s a girl out there who might be his savior if only he can convince her to take his place.

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In Broken Tooth, Maine, the legend of the Grey Man tells of a spirit who haunts the old lighthouse on Jackson Rock. But the Grey Man is more than a ghost. He’s a cursed man who must gather the souls of those who die under his light. The Grey Man knows there’s a girl out there who might be his savior if only he can convince her to take his place.

Willa Dixon is the steadfast daughter of a lobster fisherman. Her greatest ambition is to captain her father’s boat. But centuries of lobstering also come with strife when Willa’s younger brother, Levi, is murdered aboard their boat. Not only could Willa lose her fishing license and any hope of the future she wants, but her brother’s killer could go free. With her family in shambles, Willa seeks refuge with the Grey Man and in a moment of desperation considers making the ultimate sacrifice.

What makes Mistwalker such a standout read is Broken Tooth’s atmospheric setting and Willa’s compelling daily struggles. To earn money, she gathers a rake and bucket and waits for low tide so she can dig for bait. She drops lobster traps in the Atlantic waters before school. Her high school is in an old converted mansion, and sometimes school is canceled because the fog is so thick that neither sunrise nor a streetlight can cut through it. There are moments when the reader feels like Willa doesn’t even live in a modern age. Sure, she texts and goes to parties, but how many teens know how to pilot a fishing vessel or locate bloodworms? Because Willa’s life is so unlike that of most teens, readers will be instantly drawn to her story, and Saundra Mitchell’s haunting narrative will keep them turning pages.

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Mistwalker

Mistwalker

By Saundra Mitchell
HMH
ISBN 9780547853154

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