Books·Canadian

The Ghost Collector

The Ghost Collector is a middle-grade book by Allison Mills.

Allison Mills

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. (From Annick Press)

The Ghost Collector is for readers aged 10 and up.

Mills is a writer based in Vancouver. The Ghost Collector is her first book.

Why Allison Mills wrote The Ghost Collector

 

"When I was young, I liked reading ghost stories. There's a series of books called Haunted Canada that is about supposedly true Canadian ghost stories that I was really into. The concept of ghosts has stuck with me since I was a kid, although I was terrified of them.

Ghosts, to me, represent a liminal space — a space that is not alive and is not dead.- Allison Mills

"Ghosts, to me, represent a liminal space — a space that is not alive and is not dead. Being from a family that is both Cree and settler and living in a bicultural space, that feeling of not being part of either thing was something that I connected to. Haunting as a metaphor is something that has always fascinated me. There's a very literal take on haunting, which is a ghost that follows you around. But there's also things, experiences and feelings that can haunt you and stick with you. That metaphorical take on haunting is something that has always been in the back of my mind when I think about ghosts."

Read more in her interview with CBC Books.

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