Johnson, Maureen. 2011. THE NAME OF THE STAR. New York: Putnam. ISBN 9780399256608 [Suggested Grade Levels 9-12]
This first book of a new supernatural series by Maureen Johnson has it all--murder, friendship, romance, a little humor, and suspense-- and has an ending that allows it to stand alone while anticipating the next volume. Rory Devereaux from Louisiana finds the adjustment to London exciting but difficult-- the damp and cold, the ways of talking and dressing, the rules of boarding school, but all of this is made easier by her roommate and Jerome, a male prefect at the school. But in the city of London, all is not well-- someone is killing women on the same dates and in the same manner as Jack the Ripper. When one of the murders occurs near the school, Rory wonders why she is the only one who can see a strange man lurking in the shadows who stops to talk to her. Rory discovers she is one of a small group of people who not only can see ghosts but can talk with them and not only is a ghost acting like Jack the Ripper, but he wants to kill her. The blend of the supernatural and realism in this book is superbly structured so that everything that happens has a sense of believability. Not only is Rory a well-rounded character, the majority of secondary characters are well developed and not stereotypical. Johnson's flare for blending a little humor with serious topics fares well in this book that will find a wide teen audience.
Use this book as a springboard for research into the “real” Jack the Ripper case or as a comparison between fact and fiction.
Clement-Moore, Rosemary. 2011. TEXAS GOTHIC. ISBN 9780385736930
Donnelly, Jennifer. REVOLUTION. ISBN 9780385737647
By Janet Hilbun