The Secret Grave: A Hauntings Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Former Wichitans, Lois and Jeffrey Ruby—mother and son—show us that writing is in their blood. Each has a new book targeted to middle grade readers.

In Lois’s book, The Secret Grave, Hannah seeks solace from her large family. Behind their ramshackle and rickety historic home she finds refuge in a forest. There she meets the malevolent Cady, with whom she strikes up an instant friendship. Loneliness can be blinding. Cady, possessive and weird, eventually insists on testing Hannah’s loyalty. When mysterious things start happening around Hannah’s house and she discovers a 100-year-old grave, Hannah awakens to the fact that something very scary is going on. Lois Ruby delivers a solid, suspenseful, creepy story of friendship and family.

In Jeffrey's debut novel, called Penelope March is Melting, family and friendship also play a significant role. When Penelope's mother disappeared, she left Penelope with her father and younger brother to eke out a living in their tiny town of Glacier Cove. But Glacier Cove has a big problem: the glacier beneath it is melting. Sometimes answers to problems come from unlikely places, and the town eccentric seems to know what to do. Penelope and her brother, Miles, are suddenly on a fantastical adventure beyond anything she could have imagined. Full of humor and heart, Jeffrey Ruby is on solid ground in his nascent career as a writer. 

There must be something in the water in Wichita (though not fluoride) as the burgeoning talent of middle grade book authors is rooting up in impressive numbers! 

Melissa's review first appeared on 89.1 KMUW. You can listen to the review HERE

— Melissa Fox


Nightshade can be deadly.

Hannah and Scooter's sprawling, ramshackle house is named for the lethal plant that grows in the dark woods behind it. Hannah knows she's not supposed to explore the forest or nearby Moonlight Lake. But she's feeling lonely and desperate for an adventure. And there Hannah meets Cady, a mysterious girl who promises everything Hannah's been missing. Only Cady has a secret:

Cady wants Hannah all to herself.

Soon Cady is copying Hannah's style so they can be more alike. She lies to Hannah's friends, insults Scooter, and begs Hannah to break her parents' rules and sneak out for a midnight swim. Hannah wants to believe Cady's just a little insecure. But when she discovers a cemetery beyond the lake with an eerily familiar headstone, she must decide whether to trust her new friend or dig for answers that may lead her to a watery grave . . .

About the Author

Lois Ruby is the author of several books for middle graders and teens, including The Doll Graveyard, Rebel Spirits, Steal Away Home, The Secret of Laurel Oaks, and Strike! Mother Jones and the Colorado Coal Field War. While traveling, Lois explores ghostly locations in Kansas, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and even a few spots in Australia, Spain, and Thailand. No spirits have tapped her on the shoulder yet, but she's ready for that to happen any time now. Lois and her husband divide their time between Albuquerque, New Mexico and Chicago, Illinois. Please visit Lois at

Product Details
ISBN: 9780545932509
ISBN-10: 0545932505
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
Publication Date: June 27th, 2017
Pages: 256
Language: English