Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind (Amanda Travels #6) by Darlene Foster

Sixth-grader Amanda Ross is a girl who loves to travel, so she’s pretty excited about her class trip from Calgary, Canada to Taos, New Mexico. But no sooner does their plane land in the Albuquerque airport than Amanda’s friend Cleo begins to tremble, wishing she were home, and asking if Amanda believes in ghosts. 

Staying at a famous Taos hotel, the Mable Dodge Luhan House, Amanda and Cleo share a room, but Cleo is still anxious. Even their room feels spooky to her, and she believes she saw someone when she opened the closet. Nevertheless, Amanda is determined to make the most of this trip and enjoy their short stay, learning as much about the history of the area as possible and recording her impressions and stories on the school's Kidblog. 

As the class visits sights such as the Governor Bent Museum, the Hacienda de los Martinezthe Taos Pueblo, where they also stopped to try some wonderful Fry Bread, the *Rio Grande Gorge and Bridge, the Ojo Caliente hot springs, Palisade Sills, the St. James Hotel, and the Enchanted Circle Pottery,  and ending with a Day of the Dead celebration, Amanda and Cleo hook up with another classmate to go exploring together. Cleo, however, is still anxious about ghosts, insisting she keeps seeing the ghost of young girl in a white dress, and it seems that everyplace they visit is haunted. After a while, even Amanda begins to feel unsettled and begins to question her own believes about ghosts and the supernatural.

Then, on a visit to the historic Ranchos de Taos Plaza and the church of Saint Francis of Assisi, Amanda, Caleb, and Cleo run into a very angry man named Jim, when Cleo gets injured in an empty building, where once again she thought she saw a ghost.

And indeed, strange things to seem to be happening to Cleo on this trip. It seems everywhere she goes, she sees the ghost of the same young girl who appears to be trying to tell her something. But who might this girl be? Is she really a ghost or just Cleo’s imagination playing tricks on her? And what does angry Jim, whom they run into more than once, have to do with it all? Can Amanda solve the mystery of Cleo’s ghostly companion.

Ghosts in the Wind is the second Amanda Travels book I've read, and I found it just as interesting as Amanda on the Danube: The Sounds of Music. Everywhere Amanda travels to seems to have a mystery just right for a curious 12 year-old to solve. And Ghosts in the Wind is no different. I lived in the southwest for four years and there is a certain kind of atmosphere there that does carry a bit of a supernatural feel to it, and Darlene Foster has captured that feeling and infused it throughout the places Amanda and her school mates visit. 

I have to admit that I did find Amanda a little annoying, going off and doing what she wants even when told by the adults around her not to. She's also a little impatient with Cleo, a relatively new girl in school and one that Amanda doesn't really know much about. She really upsets Cleo when she posts a story about Cleo's ghost in the closet for everyone to read on Kidblog. Cleo has her own backstory that eventually does help Amanda understand her better when she finally talks about her life. Cleo likes to draw and records everything she sees by illustrating it, including the ghost in one of her scenes. Caleb is very much fun character. He carries a camera everywhere he goes and records his adventures that way. He also provides some comic relief when things get serious and some help when Amanda needs it. 

The Amanda Travels series is a really nice way of introducing young readers to different places around the world through the eyes of girl around their age and it's perfect for kids who like a good mystery. Each mystery surrounding each story is build around the particular place that Amanda is visiting so readers learn about the history, the food, famous sights, celebrations, and the geography, including the landscape.

Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind has a lot of offer readers and just might wake up the wanderlust in some.

This book is recommended for readers age 9+
This book was an EARC received from NetGalley

*Rio Grande Gorge is one of 10 National Parks the present administration has targeted for possible oil and gas exploration, mining, timber harvesting, and commercial fishing. This will ruin the natural beauty of these parks. You can find out more about the 10 parks on the NPCA (National Parks Conservation Association) website. 


  1. Thanks for the great review. Pleased you enjoyed the book.

  2. Wow, Excellent post. Its really beautiful.Thanks for your nice post.
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