Paris Pan Takes the Dare by Cynthea Liu
Paris hates moving every seven to eight months, but maybe this time will be different. She even manages to make friends on her first day of school. Unfortunately, she also discovers that a girl died on her family’s new property. At night, Paris hears all sorts of weird tapping noises and girls voices. In order to keep her friends and retain her non-freak status, Paris is going to have to spend the night outside in the woods that she’s convinced herself are haunted.
As an adult, there were certain aspects of the book that I had figured out early (the giggling) and some I didn't (the dolls. SO FREAKY.) Paris's struggles to make friends, her desperation for them is something I think a lot of tween readers can and will relate to. I also liked the dimension added with Robin's bullying. Paris knows it's wrong, but she also is so insecure in her place at the new school that she feels like she can't do anything to stop it. Paris's older sister, Verona, adds much needed comic relief. And, as always, I love Cynthea Liu for using real pinyin when Chinese appears in her books! But, I've blogged about that before. My favorite (for me) moment came when Paris's mom yells at her to "CLOSE THE LIGHT."
I had completely forgotten that, in Chinese, you open and close electronics instead of turning them on and off. When I studied in China, it was a construction that slipped into our English really quickly and when I came back to the States, was one of the last ones to leave my messed-up English.
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