Selected as an honor book for the Washington Irving Children's Book Choice Award for Older Readers, by the Westchester County (NY) Public Library Association, May 1998.

Selected as one of the Favorite Books of the Year by the Young Critics Club of the New Canaan (CT) Library, 1997

Selected as one of the Favorite Books for Grades 4 & 5 by the Palm Beach (FL) County Library System


School Library Journal

"Lively and filled with humor.... Deem does a marvelous job of creating and sustaining believable and unique voices for the characters.... Children will relish this book for the ghost stories, which all fit smoothly into the narrative."


"The inclusion of some Christina Rossetti poetry and the generally humorous tone are added bonuses for a title that will be a popular choice for ghost story fans."

Notes from the Windowsill

"Artfully relating supernatural activities to the feeling of a family in the midst of loss and change, this clever book combines genuine emotional resonance with the appeal of a good yarn. Readers looking for a few light chills may be both surprised and pleased."

Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books

"Deem ultimately offers not only several good ghost stories...but also a subtle treatment of the human desire for ghosts.... The result is a quirky, often touching, and entertaining read suitable for ghost fans jaded by their usual haunts."


"This novel deals with three themes...coping with the death of a loved one, moving to a new home, and developing new friendships. What sets Deem's novel apart from others with similar themes and makes it so enjoyable and difficult to put down is its unusual mix of genres: detective/paranormal/humor."

The Horn Book

"Twins Christina and Danny move with their father to California after their mother is killed in an accident. There they believe they are being haunted. With the help of a psychic and a university professor, they discover more about themselves and their family. The story is both humorous and poignant. Christina peppers her narration with 'true' ghost stories that are fun and revealing."


James M Deem

Copyright © 1988-2018 James M Deem. All Rights Reserved.

Prisoners of Breendonk by James M Deem