Archive for the ‘Carol Matas’ Category

While avoiding work on alternating narratves, I’ve put together a book trailer for Ghosthunters 2: The Curse of the Evening Eye,  the sequel to The Proof that Ghosts Exist.  Here it is:


After the various positive comments for The Proof That Ghosts Exist, the novel by Carol Matas and me, that I recorded earlier (see Responses to the Proof That Ghosts Exist) comes this late bloomer, from School Library Journal:

MATAS, Carol & Perry Nodelman. The Proof That Ghosts Exist. Bk. 1. 216p. (The Ghosthunters Series). Key Porter, dist. by PGW. 2008. pap. $6.95. ISBN 978-1-55470-014-1. LC C2007-906679-8.

Gr 4–7—Molly and Adam have been given the task of watching their father closely during their lakeside vacation. Several of the men in his family have died the day before their 35th birthday, and the Barnetts are determined to protect Tim’s life. Meanwhile, the siblings connect with the ghost of Tim’s father, who helps them piece together the mysterious deaths. The book ends on a cliff-hanger. A cut above generic series fiction, Ghosthunters nonetheless is a serviceable, not stellar mystery. It contains the requisite spiders, screams, and knives, but the story itself is workmanlike. Molly and Adam are obvious foils for one another, and the dialogue tries too hard to point out character development. The authors explain clues rather than allowing the plot to reveal information, and the story is linear rather than three-dimensional. Ghost stories by Marion Dane Bauer, Mary Downing Hahn, or Betty Ren Wright will serve as well or better.—Caitlin Augusta, The Darien Library, CT

Oh dear.  So much for “endearing and intrepid protagonists, and a mystery complex enough to sustain interest across volumes”  (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books). So much for “Simply put, The Proof that Ghosts Exist is a fun book to read from start to finish” (CM Magazine).   We are, in fact, merely linear and serviceable–and, it seems, above all, nothing to laugh at.

Those who don’t mind a little comedy mixed in with their ghosts or characters with a little self-awareness or a plot that doesn’t require special glasses to make sense of it might he pleased to hear that Book Two of The Ghosthunters, The Curse of the Evening Eye, will be forthcoming soon in Canada and will be available a few months later in the U.S.


These are comments from both Canadian and American reviews of the novel by Carol Matas and me, The Proof that Ghosts Exist, the first book of the Ghosthunters trilogy.

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books:

As this is the first novel in a planned trilogy, there is little resolution offered as to the likelihood of their success (though the lighthearted tone certainly does not suggest the imminent death of their father). However, compelling side characters (particularly the mysterious Reggie, the giant and ominous nurse who literally appears on scene after the sibs’father is injured), endearing and intrepid protagonists, and a mystery complex enough to sustain interest across volumes will all easily draw readers back in to see what happens next.

the booksforchildren wiki:

There’s scary fun here. Molly and Adam must face their fears, and there’s some amusing play with ghost story conventions. 

Lessons from the Tortoise:

This is a funny, imaginative excursion into the world of ghost-hunting–highly recommended for middle-grade readers.

North Bay Nugget, October 25,2008:

The Proof that Ghosts Exist by Carol Matas and Perry Nodelman (Key Porter, ages nine to 14) is a rip-roaring ghost story filled with chills, thrills and more than a few laughs. Maybe it’s just a horrible coincidence that the Barnett men tend to drop dead the day before their 35th birthday. But Molly and Adam’s mom isn’t taking any chances. She has decided to spend their dad’s birthday at their remote — and safe — cottage by the lake. What could go wrong? As Molly and Adam find out — everything! The kids struggle to make sense of the odd events and figure out what’s really happening at the lake. This is the first volume in the Ghosthunters trilogy and will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next installment in this Canadian story.

CM Magazine:

Ghosts that kill provides the spook-a-riffic basis for the mystery that Adam and his sister Molly try to solve in The Proof that Ghosts Exist by Carol Matas and Perry Nodelman. This is the exciting first book in “The Ghosthunters” trilogy, and so, although some mysteries are solved, the book leaves the reader with many unanswered questions. The author duo begin the story on the premise of a family curse and then continue to mix in more mysterious elements to keep readers guessing and build the suspense. The Proof that Ghosts Exist is both an entertaining, light read and a thought-provoking story about the supernatural world. . . .

The success of this novel is in the way Nodelman and Matas tease the reader with questions of who is evil, what is evil, how do you fight or stand up to an evil that knows all of your weaknesses? Adam and Molly’s love for their dad keeps them motivated to face their fears, although, at the moment, they can only trust their instinct and the words of their grandfather. A gentle humour takes the edge away from the suspense. Simply put, The Proof that Ghosts Exist is a fun book to read from start to finish.

Nodelman and Matas effortlessly weave mystery, suspense and humour throughout the novel. As they prove that ghosts exits, the writing duo raises of number of fun and frightening questions about the supernatural world and the connection of the living to it. The Proof that Ghosts Exist is a light read that is truly “filled with chills thrills and more than a few laughs.” Highly Recommended.

The Jewish Independent, April 18, 2008:

Another story that requires readers to check their skepticism at the door is The Proof that Ghosts Exist (Key Porter Books) by Carol Matas and Perry Nodelman, but it’s wonderfully written and very entertaining – even a bit scary at times.
Molly and Adam Barnett’s family is reaching a potentially dangerous milestone: their father’s 35th birthday. For generations, Barnett men have died on the day before they turned 35. To try and avoid this tragedy in their own family, the Barnetts head to their remote cottage, where they will be away from the stresses and dangers of the city and where the children – without mom, who has to stay in town to deal with important business – can keep a close eye on their dad.
Of course, nothing is as easy as it seems and Molly and Adam have to piece together the mystery that plagues their family, all the while dealing with ghosts and more tangible threats to their and their father’s lives.
The Proof that Ghosts Exist is the first book in the Ghosthunters trilogy so, of course, it leaves readers in the lurch. But anticipation is half the fun, right?

Saskatoon Star Phoenix, May 17, 2008

Carol Matas and Perry Nodelman’s collaborative junior fiction novel The Proof that Ghosts Exist (Key Porter, paperback, $11.95), first in The Ghosthunters trilogy, is certainly well-suited for ages nine-12. Reminiscent of the glib Goosebumps novels for the same age group, Matas and Nodelman’s title operates on a premise similar to one used by British author Alan Gibbons in a book for older readers, Scared to Death: that a particular force of evil is capable of bringing on whatever it is that frightens people the most.

For Molly, it’s the sensation that she’s trapped in a small, close space. For her younger brother Adam, it’s creepy crawly things. For their father, Tim, who lives under the shadow of an approaching thirty-fifth birthday and the knowledge that both his father, and grandfather, died on their thirty-fifth birthdays, it’s his wife!

Humorous passages, including segments about an odd lakeside neighbour named Reggie who initially appears to nurse Tim’s strained ankle, keep this a light read for kids who like to be scared — but not too much.


The Proof that Ghosts Exist, first in a series, offers a historical mystery, adventure interspersed with sibling banter, and a strong dose of the supernatural.

And, of course, there’s the infamous and very creepy book trailer:

Here’s a trailer for the first book of The Ghosthunters trilogy, The Proof that Ghosts Exist, written by me and my friend Carol Matas.