I’m not the target audience for The Dungeons of Dogwood – that would probably be pre-teens or young adults. But the cover caught my eye, and when I saw that the theme was about the supernatural, I was hooked! I can only imagine how captivated a younger audience would be by this story of 11-year-old Archie Riddle, who has been bounced back and forth between schools and has just been enrolled in Dogwood School, a former castle.
His abilities to sense ghosts and the paranormal have gotten him into trouble at previous schools, but hope runs high that his luck will change. Once he arrives at Dogwood, though, he senses the haunted essence of the school and is drawn to solving the school’s mysteries, one of which is the tale of The Three Robbers, who passed away in the dungeon of the castle, near the school’s library.
Grumpy Headmaster Mr. Belchard is leery of Archie because of his track record, but sends him on to his first class. He meets straggly but friendly fellow student Hamish, who quickly becomes his “ghostbusting partner in crime.” Their search for the dungeons and the ghosts takes them through secret passages and spooky areas, and it’s a thrilling read at all times. The book’s illustrations are a perfect fit for the story and add a great deal to the experience. This is Book 1 in a series, and I’m now planning to read the others. Highly recommend it!