2 1/2 stars
The Mystery of Ghost Dancer Ranch follows two curious teenagers, Punkin and Boo, on their very first adventure together. They have both been left to spend the summer at their grandparents’ ranch. Thinking it will be boring, the girls are not at all enthused with being separated from friends and family. Little do they know, it will become anything but boring!
The real mystery begins when Boo’s curiosity is sparked from asking her grandma questions. She learns of some intriguing history surrounding the old house. A relative was said to have hidden an Indian by the name of Red Bull and his family from the army. This relative fell in love with Red Bull’s daughter and later married her.
Boo also discovers that the name of the ranch was derived from Indians who danced on the property. This ghost dance was used to call up their dead ancestors.
The Mystery of Ghost Dancer Ranch has a style like Nancy Drew, except there are big differences. The biggest is that it focuses on the supernatural. I don’t know if you can combine the paranormal with sleuthing in a way that perfectly fits.
To break down the book, there are dangerous situations that the kids and grandfather encounter. The two main characters are adorable, and the author did well in portraying them. Crooks with an interest in casinos are mentioned, and the paranormal side of it has demons that haunt the house. Because of the demons and bad guys, it might be scary for some children.
I believe that The Lost Coast and The Hidden Gate complete the rest of this series. I don’t recommend this one for really young readers, so the appropriate age is probably for 10 and up.
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