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Reviewed by:
  • Small Medium at Large
  • Kate Quealy-Gainer
Levy, Joanne . Small Medium at Large. Bloomsbury, 2012. [208p]. ISBN 978-1-59990-836-6 $15.99 Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 4-7.

After being struck by lightning at her mother's wedding, twelve-year-old Lilah wakes up in the hospital hearing her grandmother's voice—a comforting thing, if only Bubby hadn't passed away four years previously. Bubby Dora helpfully explains that Lilah is not, in fact, going crazy, but that Lilah's brush with death has left her with the ability to hear ghosts. The seventh-grader takes the news in stride, [End Page 30] as does her friend Alex, in whom she confides. The two decide to put Lilah's skills to good use, utilizing her knowledge from the beyond to set her unhappily single father on a few dates, put on an amazing fashion show at school, and secure dates for the two of them to the upcoming dance. Of all the fictional girls lately gifted with communicating with the dead, Lilah is by far the most charming, accepting the onset of her talent with a refreshingly angst-free enthusiasm and addressing her new ghostly friends with as much frankness and sassy wit as she does her corporeal pals. It helps that the spirits with whom Lilah is dealing tend to be more benevolent than the average restless dead, and their issues are usually easily solved by Lilah's communicating a simple message of encouragement or hope to a loved one left behind. The inclusion of such middle-school milestones as first dance, first kiss, etc., and Lilah's pitch-perfect tween narration make this good-natured dramedy an easy sell to pre-adolescents, particularly those who have found the ghost story genre to be a bit too grave (ha) for their liking.