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The Ghost Collector

Interest Age: 10+
Grade: 5+
Reading Level: Common Core Correlations
CCSS.ELA-Literacy Strand-Reading literature: L.8.3,4,4a,4d,5,5a,5c,6

Reading Level: Lexile 760L
Hardcover : 9781773212968, 200 pages, September 2019 , 7.5" x 5.5"
Paperback : 9781773212951, 200 pages, September 2019 , 7.5" x 5.5"
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781773212982, 200 pages, September 2019


Ghosts aren’t meant to stick around forever…

Shelly and her grandmother catch ghosts. In their hair.

Just like all the women in their family, they can see souls who haven’t transitioned yet; it’s their job to help the ghosts along their journey. When Shelly’s mom dies suddenly, Shelly’s relationship to ghosts—and death—changes. Instead of helping spirits move on, Shelly starts hoarding them. But no matter how many ghost cats, dogs, or people she hides in her room, Shelly can’t ignore the one ghost that’s missing. Why hasn’t her mom’s ghost come home yet?

Rooted in a Cree worldview and inspired by stories about the author’s great-grandmother’s life, The Ghost Collector delves into questions of grief and loss, and introduces an exciting new voice in tween fiction that will appeal to fans of Kate DiCamillo’s Louisiana’s Way Home and Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls.


“[An] original paranormal tale.” 

- Kirkus Reviews, 06/12/19

“Mills has created a gentle, understated story about grief and loss through a paranormal lens. This is a necessary book that is sure to have readers. Highly recommended.” 

- School Library Journal, *starred review, 08/19

“Poignantly haunting.” 

- The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, 09/19

“Perfectly balances suspense and the supernatural . . . [A] powerful and moving story about coming to terms with the death of a loved one. It’s an auspicious debut that is sure to delight middle-grade readers.” 

- The Globe and Mail, 08/25/19

“Mills explores the confusion and anger loss can bring, as well as the difficulties of being different in middle school. It’s a quiet, contemplative read.” 

- Booklist, 09/10/19

“Mills’s spare prose is poignant and never heavy-handed, culturally specific yet universally resonant.” 

- The Horn Book Magazine, 11/19

“Offers readers a gentle and interesting lesson on ghost lore — as well as a refreshing challenge to assumptions about traditional knowledge.”

- Toronto Star, 11/06/19

“A moving, compassionate story.” 

- Falling Letters, 01/08/2020

“Young readers will delight in the inventiveness of The Ghost Collector.” 

- Canadian Children’s Book News, 01/24/20

“Simple language makes The Ghost Collector accessible to its tween audience while introducing sophisticated concepts. In Shelly, Mills has created a believable, likeable character who learns important life lessons about the future in the rich context of her cultural past.” 

- CM Reviews, 09/20/19

“Allison Mills’ The Ghost Collector is both delightful and haunting. A delicious blend of the supernatural and the very real. Mills has great respect for her audience. Taking great care to keep the narrative moving while never simplifying the novel’s ideas and themes of loss. The result is a nuanced study in empathy for both the characters and the readers.” 

- Sunburst Award Jury, 08/20

“Excellent read, great characters and a neat story.” 

- Village Media (syndicated), 08/16/20

“An enjoyable, moving read, excellent for independent reading or literature circles in junior grades.”

- Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), 03/22