On this episode of Everything is Canon, Steve talks to Justina Ireland all about her brand-new book, Ophie’s Ghosts, which is being described as “The New York Times bestselling author of Dread Nation makes her middle grade debut with a sweeping tale of the ghosts of our past that won’t stay buried, starring an unforgettable girl named Ophie.”
Here’s the summary…
Ophelia Harrison used to live in a small house in the Georgia countryside. But that was before the night in November 1922, and the cruel act that took her home and her father from her. Which was the same night that Ophie learned she can see ghosts.
Now Ophie and her mother are living in Pittsburgh with relatives they barely know. In the hopes of earning enough money to get their own place, Mama has gotten Ophie a job as a maid in the same old manor house where she works.
Daffodil Manor, like the wealthy Caruthers family who owns it, is haunted by memories and prejudices of the past—and, as Ophie discovers, ghosts as well. Ghosts who have their own loves and hatreds and desires, ghosts who have wronged others and ghosts who have themselves been wronged. And as Ophie forms a friendship with one spirit whose life ended suddenly and unjustly, she wonders if she might be able to help—even as she comes to realize that Daffodil Manor may hold more secrets than she bargained for.
Like her incredible Dread Nation/Deathless Divide books, Justina once again tackles the subject of racism, subjugation, and indentured servitude, this time during the Black Migration period as millions of African Americans fled the South where Jim Crow laws were still in effect. And unlike the chaotic violence of those books, she does so this time with a more somber, quiet rage, appropriate for the books middle grade categorization.
If you enjoy a good “whodunit”, this is a classically written murder mystery with Ophelia playing the role of detective, using her ancestral ability to communicate with those who have passed. Much like Justina’s Star Wars middle grade book, A Test of Courage, Ophie’s Ghosts has a main character in Ophelia that you won’t soon forget.
We talk about the general state of things, Star Wars, the amount of research that went into this book, Ophie’s Ghosts of course, and much, much more.
Ophie’s Ghosts is out now, click HERE to order a copy today!