Project Description

Teacher’s Guide

Giving Up the Ghost

by Sheri Sinykin

“That’s the first step, you know. Admitting you’re afraid. But when there’s love, there can be no fear.”

Davia is afraid of many things, and everything about her elderly great-aunt Mari and her spooky-looking plantation home terrifies her. And when she encounters Emilie, the tortured ghost of a well-to-do adolescent girl from the nineteenth century, she is even more frightened. Davia gradually begins to learn from Aunt Mari secrets about Emilie and about her own family’s past―stories of premature endings and regrets. As Aunt Mari’s health deteriorates, she and Davia become closer. Together, they hope to release Emilie’s spirit from the mansion and the world of the living.

Author Sheri Sinykin has written a provocative tale of a young girl who learns to accept uncertainty and to come to terms with her fears. Readers will be mesmerized by the intriguing supernatural mystery that lies at the heart of the story.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-423-5
Publication Date: 10/1/2007
Page Count: 240
Size: 5-1/4 ̎ x 8 ̎
Age Range: 10 – 14
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Price: $7.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-572-0
Publication Date: 3/1/2011
Page Count: 240
Size: 5-1/4 ̎ x 8 ̎
Age Range: 10 – 14
Language: English
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-56145-680-2
Age Range: 10 – 14
Language: English

Purchase this eBook through the following vendors:

Barnes & Noble

AR Level: 3.8
F&P: GRL V, Gr 5, Genre F
Lexile: 600L
Themes: Death, Family, Ghosts, Relationships
BISAC 1: YAF042000  YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Mysteries & Detective Stories
BISAC 2: YAF045000  YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Paranormal, Occult & Supernatural
BISAC 3: YAF058050  YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Death & Dying


“Equal parts psychological realism and supernatural thriller, this story about living in the present and conquering fear has teen appeal in spades…Sinykin’s simple, straightforward prose can be read by those as young as nine, but the subject matter—disease, death, arranged marriage and suicide—makes this title more appropriate for older readers. A good choice for reluctant teens.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“The book will draw some readers through its subject matter and will thereby connect them with a character seeking to understand her family, her place in a larger scheme of things, and her glimpse beyond the natural world.” ―School Library Journal

“More than a ghost story, this book serves as a guide for teenagers experiencing illness and death in their families…Sinykin successfully blends essential information about the process of dying with a fictional narrative that could be useful for teens facing similar circumstances in their lives.” ―VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)


Young Adult Top Forty ―Pennsylvania School Librarians Association, 2008

Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Middle School / Junior High) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2008

Young Hoosier Book Award (Nominee, Middle Grades) ―Association for Indiana Media Educators, 2009-2010

Meet the Author

Sheri Sinykin is the author of several middle grade and young adult novels. She holds degrees from Stanford University and Vermont College, where she received an MFA in writing for children. She lives in Massachusetts and Arizona. You can visit her website here.