The Haunted Purse

Young Adult

When Libby Dawson buys a denim purse at her local thrift store, strange things start happening. She soon discovers that her treasured new purse is haunted by a ghost; a ghost who wants her to solve a decades-old cold case. Soon Libby and her friend Toni are on the prowl for answers. But Libby has troubles of her own. She lives in the bad part of town and her mother is almost never around. As Libby starts to put the pieces of the puzzle together, her own life begins to unravel. Friendships struggle, her life is endangered, and Libby must step out of her comfort zone. 

Kimberly Baer’s “The Haunted Purse” is a heartwarming and thrilling YA mystery that will bring readers to tears. Libby is an incredibly strong and relatable character who is extremely well developed, and the plot itself is unique and captivating. Early pacing of the book falters at points as the book juggles both real life issues and paranormal mystery elements. During these moments, the story almost seems to have completely shifted genres rather than blending the two together. However, once Ms. Baer hits her stride, this blend becomes spellbinding and riveting.  Combine this with a cast of unique characters—many of whom are as equally deep and compelling as Libby, some of whom feel a little less dimensional—and this combination becomes impossible to put down. This novel is a truly out-of-the-norm study in showing the hard realities of some low-income homes while maintaining the light and enjoyable characteristics that make up YA books. 

Shailyn Rogers