Pemba’s Song: A Ghost Story

Reading The Rainbow: Book 5
Title: Pemba’s Song: A Ghost Story
Author: Marilyn Nelson and Tonya Cherie Hegamin
Medium: Book

Pemba’s Song: A Ghost Story is the story of Pemba a young African American teenager who has recently moved with her mother from Brooklyn, New York to the small town of Colchester, Connecticut where her mother plans on teaching at the Colored School. While in the new house Pemba starts seeing glimpses of another girl looking at her in the mirror. This other girl is Phyllis, an eighteenth century slave who lived in the same house hundreds of years before. She’s trying to tell Pemba something, but Pemba might be too scared to find out.

This story really wasn’t scary, or tense, or even creepy. Granted it’s a young adult book, and it is well written but nothing about it caused me any real concern. Even the scenes where her head is pounding and she’s about to pass out were just there. Nothing heart pounding. Maybe it’s because I read this so close to reading something as creepy and tense as Joyce Carol Oates’ Zombie but the ghost part of this story just wasn’t doing it for me.

Overall rating: 2/5 – it was okay
Classification: African American Authors
Female Authors
Young Adult


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