Peeled by Joan Bauer.
G. P. Putnam's Sons/Penguin Young Readers Group: NY, 2008.

This book was a surprise. The reading level is low, so I didn't expect the complexity. Bauer again gives us an entertaining mystery with social significance.

The focus is journalism-the truth vs sensationalism-using a haunted house as a vehicle. Underlying the newspaper theme is the spreading of fear through the town purposefully. Both themes are relevant to current events in our country. Wrapped up in the mystery is a commercial development scheme as well.

The star reporter is a strong female character. Hildy learns some hard lessons with her success, due to her tenacity and coaching from an experienced reporter. A new friend helps her to see the town has not totally embraced the sensationalism of their rival. They are waiting for the truth to be told-and make sense.

An enjoyable read with heart and some lightly probing moments.
related-reporters and reporting, journalism, farm life, apple farms, New York state, high schools, haunted houses, fearmongering, social issues, high interest, commercial development, perseverance, politics

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