Shelly and her grandmother have the ability to help ghosts to “move on” to whatever is next. As a Cree, all the women in Shelly’s family have the ability. This includes birds, mice, people and even raccoons! It turns out, there are a lot of pets that end up “haunting” the place they used to live. All they need is someone to help them to leave. Shelly LOVES going with her grandmother to help people and animals move to the next phase, but her mother isn’t so sure Shelly should be spending so much time with the dead and little to none -outside of family members- with the living. After all, Shelly doesn’t really have any great friends at school, and this concerns her mom. But her mom is so busy trying to work and pay rent and provide for the three of them, it can be hard to carve out that time. Still, Shelly knows her mom loves her and wants the best for her, even if she isn’t totally supportive of the whole ghost hunting thing.
When something tragic happens though, Shelly takes all the words of wisdom that she has learned from her grandmother about ghosts and what they need and disregards them and the rules. After all, if her ability can’t help her to connect with the one person she most wants to in the whole world, maybe the rules are meant to be broken, at least in this case.
The Ghost Collector by Allison Mills focuses on the real and painful truth we must all go through at some point in our lives, and how we all end up dealing with it, in our own way.
Recommended for grades 6 and up.