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"This is a teeth-chattering, eyes bulging, shuddering-and-shaking, chills-at-the-back-of-your-neck ghost story. I loved it!"—R.L. Stine, author of the Goosebumps series

For fans of Small Spaces and the Goosebumps series by R.L Stine comes a chilling ghost story based on real Chicago history about a malevolent spirit, an unlucky girl, and a haunting mystery that will tie the two together.

Claire has absolutely no interest in the paranormal. She's a scientist, which is why she can't think of anything worse than having to help out her dad on one of his ghost-themed Chicago bus tours. She thinks she's made it through when she sees a boy with a sad face and dark eyes at the back of the bus. There's something off about his presence, especially because when she checks at the end of the tour...he's gone.

Claire tries to brush it off, she must be imagining things, letting her dad's ghost stories get the best of her. But then the scratching starts. Voices whisper to her in the dark. The number 396 appears everywhere she turns. And the boy with the dark eyes starts following her.

Claire is being haunted. The boy from the bus wants something...and Claire needs to find out what before it's too late.

Pick up Scritch Scratch if you are looking for:

  • A book for middle school students, 5th grade to 9th grade

  • A story with a strong female protagonist that explores bravery, friendship, and family

  • Mystery books for kids 9-12

  • Chilling ghost stories and ghost books for kids (perfect for Halloween!)

  • Historical mysteries and Chicago history books for kids


2024 Connecticut Nutmeg Intermediate Book Award WINNER!
2022/2023 William Allen White Book Award WINNER! 
2021 Kansas NEA Reading Circle Recommended Title (TOP Pick)
2021 Bank Street Best Children's Books of Year 2021 List (12-14)

Lectio Book Award Nominee Reading List for the 2021-2022 School Year
2022 Sunshine State Young Reader's Award (SSYRA) grade 6-8 book list for 2022-2023
2024 Nutmeg Book Award Nominee

2022-2023 Young Hoosier Book Award Longlist
Young People's Literature Award Winner for 2020
2021 Volunteer State Book Award
Nominated for the William Al
len White Children's Book Award Master List
2022 Illinois Reads Literacy Program Selection
2021-2022 Intermediate Volunteer State Book Award (VSBA) Nominee
2022-2023 South Carolina Children's Book Award Nominee

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