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About the Book


High school journalist Hildy Biddle is covering a big story and asking a huge question: Is there a ghost at the old Ludlow House, or is this an urban legend promoted by a local newspaper desperate for more readership.

There is so much coming at ace reporter Hidly Biddle that she’s not sure what’s true anymore.  The big story in town is that a ghost is on the loose and plenty of people are scared.  It doesn’t help that the local newspaper is running frightening headlines.

Hildy is the kind of reporter who is determined to stick to the facts.  That is the only way she can find out who or what is really threatening her town.  But what are the rules of good journalism, anyway?  Does the truth have a chance of being heard over all the buzz?

  •  Nominated for 3 state awards

Lies.  Propaganda.  Fear.  Hysteria.  Courage.  Freedom of the Press.  Truth.

"A winsome entry into issues of journalistic free speech and the impact of sensationalism in the media..."
-- School Library Journal-Curriculum Connections

"Vintage Bauer, a warm and funny story full of likable, offbeat characters led by a strongly voiced, independently minded female protagonist on her way to genuine, well-earned maturity...A-peeling all around!"
-- School Library Journal

"Sharp pacing and an intriguing premise... Bauer renders a fully realized portrait of a small town dependent on an ever-fragile economy and threatened by modern encroachment. As always, she stocks her work with strong, sage women, the elements for a budding romance, and plenty of funny moments. But it's Hildy readers will remember longest, a smart girl who realistically blends the spunkiness, brains and good humor that is Bauer's stock-in-trade."
-- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Hildy's crisp, declarative narration, subtly emulating a journalistic style, sings with tart humor and quixotic purpose."
-- Horn Book

"As a high-school journalist, Hildy Biddle tries to cut the fluff. Can she discover the truth about bad events in "The Happiest Town in the Happy Apple Valley"? Is there a curse, or is it just a bad year for apples? Hildy is not a distanced teen-she cares about the farms and the families-and she is strong and funny. In Hildy's words: " 'Teenagers are like bees at night, I think. We don't like waking up and we don't always get with the program immediately, but once we figure out our mission, we'll see it through.' "
-- Chicago Tribune

"Wonderfully teachable, highly readable, and ready to delight Bauer fans, old and new."
-- VOYA highlighted review