The time is 1870s, the first widespread use of photography for regular people. It is Manhattan and the wealthy are beginning to pay for the service of having their images permanently captured on paper. It is also a period in American history when belief in the spirit world is again reaching an apex and the idea that souls can be captured by a picture takes hold. Avi uses his profound skills as a researcher and narrator to deliver a ghost story pitting notions of reason and science against the supernatural. Unfortunately, he lands on the side of the supernatural and to modern ears and eyes the idea of vengeful ghosts is not quite credible. You do have to appreciate the subtlety with which he places a young African American girl in the role of protagonist.
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