The Ghost in Apartment 2R

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 12 Nov 2019

Member Reviews

What if there was a ghost in your brother's room?

This kid-friendly mystery about three friends who try to help a restless spirit find peace is perfect for fans of Under the Egg and The Book Scavenger. It stinks that Danny's older brother moved out and went to college. But you know what's worse? He left behind an angry ghost in his room! With the help of his friends Nat and Gus, Danny interviews everyone his Brooklyn neighborhood to find out about spirits. Is it an Arabian ghoul? A Korean gwishin? A Polish haunting? Maybe the answer lies with Danny's own bubbe and her tales of a dybbuk, a Jewish mythological ghost. Regardless of its origins, what does the spirit truly want? And can Danny manage to bring the phantom to rest?

My Review:
As far as children's books go, The Ghost in Apartment 2R is a great book. It is delightful, fun and easy to read. Overall, the story is about Danny and his friends trying to help a resident ghost move on.and find peace.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion. Highly recommend.
Was this review helpful?
This book makes me want to visit Brooklyn. That said, I've never been so if the author wasn't geographically accurate, I'd never know. I'm shoving this into the hands of all the ghost hunting kids in my world the minute I get a real copy. It's scary and suspenseful all the while being age-appropriate. I think grade school kids will love this book.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley for providing with a copy of The Ghost in Apartment 2R by Denis Markell for an honest review. 

You have no idea how on edge I was with this book through it all.And not in a right way, sadly. I was bored from the start. Not even sure now I can't take away how bored I was, I'm genuinely sorry. Anyway, even when it was slow and tedious, I enjoyed some parts of the book. But I simply couldn't get through some of the jokes enough to give it more stars.
Was this review helpful?
Danny's family lives in a two bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. The family has struggled financially, with his filmmaker father doing contract work, and in order for Jake and Danny to have their own space, Danny ends up with a closet bedroom. When Jake heads off to Cornell on a scholarship, Danny hopes to get his own room, but the parents decide to rent it out as an Air Hotel room. Danny's not happy about this, but there isn't much he can do. Odd things start to happen as his mother works to set up their new business, though-- the web site won't take the listing, customers have to call support to book, and the bed keeps falling apart. Even stranger are the sightings of ghostly faces in pictures and in the window. Danny consults his friend Gus, whose family runs a butcher shop, and his friend Nat, whose family has had a deli for over a hundred years. They agree with Danny that the room seems haunted, but aren't quite sure what to do. Suggestions come from Danny's grandmother, who thinks there is a dybbuk who needs to be understood to be dispatched. The kids do some research and find that a tragedy occurred in the apartment. After some parental dissent, Nat is able to stay overnight and help talk to the ghost, find out what is tying her to the room, and figure out a way to help her move on. 

Strengths: This is more of a love letter to Brooklyn than a scary ghost story, but it is quite fun nonetheless. The details of Danny's every day life will seem super exotic to my students, most of whom can't walk to stores, schools, or anything else! For some reason, the various Air Hotel guests were funny and fascinating, and reading about Nat's family deli was also enjoyable. The family's financial struggles were realistic; there are a lot of odd expenses associated with college, and I can't think of a single middle grade novel to address families hosting hotel guests! (In their own home. There are books about actual hotels and motels.) The ghost story is well constructed, and i thought the reason for the dybbuk to hang around was very sweet. Like this author's The Game Masters of Garden Place or Click Here to Start, this is a fun novel with just a little bit of the supernatural. 
Weaknesses: I wish the ghost mystery had been scarier. When she possessed the hotel guests, it was more humorous than frightening. I liked the book a lot despite this, but I do have a LOT of students who want scary books, and struggle to find enough. 
What I really think: Definitely purchasing; fans of Mary Downing Hahn and Betty Ren Wright will like the slight ghost mystery, and readers who want humorous books or books set in New York City will enjoy this one.
Was this review helpful?
Nicely done mild ghost story, mystery.

The mystery is why is Danny's brother's room haunted after he goes away to college, and what does the ghost want?

With the help of his friends, and the historic society, and the people of the brooklyn neighborhood where he lives, the three friends discover what is going on, even though Danny's parents are a bit oblivious to the whole ghost thing, and keep coming up with other reasons for the things that happen.

Nice diversity of the cast of characters.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
After Danny's brother heads off to college, he's excited in his brother's room becoming his just as his parents' promised. But with the cost of his brother's college, Danny's hope for getting his brother's room goes out the window when his parents decide to turn it into a room rented out to tourists.
If that wasn't bad enough, spooky things begin to happen and Danny's faced with dealing with a ghost.
Worst of all, his parents don't believe him and even his friends Nat and Gus are questioning him.
Eventually Nat and Gus come around, Nat still thinking it's all in Danny's head, but decides to help Danny figure out who this ghost is and the history of his apartment.
This was a cute read. I enjoyed the different cultures and a bit of their history and I enjoyed the stories told from beliefs. 
I really enjoyed Sammy, he seems like a fun person.
Great read.
Was this review helpful?
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I really liked this one! It has a great diverse caste of characters and a believable mostly likable protagonist.
It was totally understandable that Danny was upset about the broken promise.

I really liked the houseguests and the ghost story.
Was this review helpful?
"Something has changed there since Jake left. Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm just making this stuff up...But what if I'm not?"

Danny has always lived in a two bedroom apartment with his family...well, technically, he lives in a closet.

Jake, his older brother, got the bedroom and Danny, being younger, gets the Harry Potter ruin. 

Except, Jake moved away to college and finally (finally!) Danny gets his own room, right? WRONG!

Jake got into Cornell...and in order to pay for it, his parents decided to rent out Danny's the spare bedroom. 

Only things do not go to plan.

'"Funny," my dad says, "You'd think someone put a curse on renting the room or something."'

Strange happenings surround the spare bedroom of Apartment 2R. Faces in windows, digital mess-ups and more.

'The mirror was all steamed up. But it was clear as anything. Someone had taken their finger and written a message on it...Where is my little boy?'

Danny must band together with his best friends (Nat and Gus) to figure this out.

'She empties the contents onto my lap. About ten books slide out. I read a few titles. Best Ghost Stories. The Scariest Tales Ever Told. The Horror Hall of Fame.

"Research," Nat says simply.'

Because the longer they wait, the stronger it grows.

'It's like the room is holding its breath. Like it knows someone new is coming.
I was so impressed by this book!'

The plot felt fresh and exciting - I had such a fun time adventuring with Danny & Co that I really am upset that the book was so short! I would love to see this turned into a series.

I loved the way the author described the setting - I really felt like I was on the streets of Brooklyn, with the Arabian Deli on one corner and the old fashioned butcher's shop on the other.

I also enjoyed how the author used the many cultures scattered throughout this book to delve into ghost stories across the world - transitioning from ghost to ghost happened really smoothly and all were just the right mixture of creepy and silly.

Danny's two best friends (Nat and Gus) were wonderfully fleshed out - along with the rest of the side characters, which made for a realistic and fun read.

Overall - I truly had a wonderful time with this book. 

Highly recommended if you want a ghost story with just the right amount of spookiness!

I received a free copy from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Well, I won't make the Harry Potter reference you might be expecting... okay, okay, maybe just a little. The main character lives in... Hmm, but enough about that for now, what about the ghost living in the house?? I've got to say kids might just like this novel.

Now, I know it's not the spookiest of reads, which I'm glad for, since it is written for children, but all in all it was spooky enough. And, yes, even though I could see what was coming, it might be different for the little ones reading it. Plus, it's got great friendships. And, oh how I love some of those friends. Which, made up for my lack of love with the main character. 

It wasn't that he was a bad one, just not my cup of tea. I mean, really, he complained basically about everything (and everyone), but have to admit there was goodness to him. As the book progressed, he did become a bit more interesting. But, back to his friends, whom I believe really carried him and the rest of this story. They were diverse, and fun, and caring, and at times forces to be reckoned with... well, you'll see when it comes to the ghost. 

I also really loved the interactions between Danny's parents and trying to make their situation work. The setup, the guests, the eerie room visits. It was, mostly, what kept me reading and wanting to know who else would stop by, what else would happen. There was also a special shop and owner that I couldn't get enough of. With all of these things included, I'd have to say it's a nice little read. It makes the other little annoyances, seem quite minuscule. 

***I received this copy from Delacorte Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***
Was this review helpful?
This was a fast read. I loved the diversity of the characters and the ghost story. There were parts that were pretty creepy. Overall, I think this will go over with the Mary Downing Hahn crowd.
Was this review helpful?
Thirteen-year-old Danny Kantrowitz lives in historically and ethnically rich Brooklyn, in a two-bedroom rear apartment in a brownstone, and sleeps in a large closet converted into a teeny tiny bedroom. For years Danny has been looking forward to moving into Jake’s room when he left for college, but now their parents have decided to rent the room out to tourists for extra income. And that’s when strange things begin happening: chilly air, a face in the window, a message in the bathroom mirror... Readers 4th grade and older will enjoy schlepping and noshing their way around Brooklyn with Danny and friends Nat and Gus as they question the neighborhood to learn the apartment’s past.
Was this review helpful?
This book was a bit of a miss for me. The ghost was actually fairly scary when it did appear. It was actually way scarier than the kind of fun artwork on the cover prepared me for. Still, it took so long for the ghost to appear in the first place, then there were long slogs through seemingly mountains of dialogue to get to where the ghost appeared again. I'm not really sure what kind of kid I would recommend this one to. It is a bit of a mystery, but it takes a really long time to get to the mystery. It focuses on Danny's issues with his parents and his love of his neighborhood, but it is too scary at times for those who like realistic fiction. And not consistently scary enough for those who are into horror books. So I'm not really sure who the right reader for this one is.

I will say that I love the diversity and character of the setting. And the character of Danny is pretty well rounded. Still, I found the whole thing mostly boring with a few short periods of excitement.
Was this review helpful?
Danny has always lived in the shadow of his older brother, Jake. Once Jake goes off to college, Danny is hoping he'll finally have a real bedroom instead of the closet that's been his bedroom for years. He is understandably disappointed when his parents tell him they are going to rent out Jake's room, which means Danny has to stay in the closet. As soon as Jake's room is all ready for the first guests, strange things begin to happen. Danny and his two best friends Gus and Nat are determined to get to the bottom of it. I liked the inclusion of Jewish and Arab traditions and stories. With solid writing and likable characters, I give this book 3.5 stars, rounded up to four. Thanks to NetGalley for the chance to read an advanced copy.
Was this review helpful?
Danny has been looking forward to inheriting his older brother's bedroom, but now that the opportunity is here, his parents have decided to rent it out! As if that wasn't bad enough, Danny starts noticing odd things happening, then it escalates to a true haunting! Danny and his friends do some exploration of Brooklyn and its history to solve this mystery. Can they figure out a way to appease the ghost without being scared out of their wits?

This is a gentle ghost story for younger or sensitive readers. The beginning felt overly detailed in places, but some of those details fed into the main story later on and became relevant. The details did help to orient readers to the setting. I have students who love Denis Markell and will be thrilled to read his new title!
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to netgalley for an arc of this book.

I enjoyed this one! I thought the whole ''ghost'' why it was sticking around thing was pretty obvious, but kids will love trying to solve this mystery along with the crew. Overall, a good add to the kid mystery books already out there.
Was this review helpful?
The Ghost in Apartment 2R is a middle-grade book about Danny, a tween whose older brother has just moved away to start college. Danny was supposed to get to move into his brother's room in their tiny 2-bedroom apartment, but then his parents drop a bombshell: to save enough money for tuition, his parents will be renting out the room on AirHotel, an Airbnb standin. Only it seems like someone-- or something-- really doesn't want the room rented...

I liked the way Markell made a point of spelling out how Brooklyn is changing, even explaining how controlled-rent apartments have allowed some families to stay as neighborhoods grew more wealthy around them. The kids at my library don't particularly care about books that name-check Brooklyn and New York City, but gentrification is something much more universal and relatable. This book is also the first kids' book I've read that includes a family renting some or all of their home for Airbnb, another thing that I'm sure many of them have encountered. I wish Markell had been able to show more and tell less about the cultural and ethnic diversity Danny loves so much in Brooklyn, but our three main child characters and their Jewish-American, Arab-American, and Italian(?)-American families are well-characterized. Markell also used the kids' families to talk about ghosts and spirits in various cultural contexts, which was great. 

What didn't work as well for me was the ghost story itself. Since "ghost" is in the title of the book and on the cover, readers are clued in pretty early that this isn't all in Danny's imagination, but even so, it takes way too long for our ghost to truly appear. When the ghost does show up, about halfway through the book, she's SCARY, much scarier than the rest of the story around it. Possession and breaking into a child's bedroom at night: I don't think it's TOO scary for this age range, but I do think the cover and story to that point haven't prepared readers for that kind of spook factor. The cover in particular speaks to stories of friendly ghost-human friendships more common in middle grade books. The story wraps up well in the end so fraidy-cats like me can sleep at night, but I'll bet a lot of kids won't make it that far if the ghost story feels too different from the cover. 

Markell's writing style reminds me of the first-person narrations of Chris Grabenstein and James Patterson's children's books. It's fast-paced, easy to read, and, while not my favorite, speaks well to its middle-grade audience. Overall I think this is a good book for a lot of things but maybe not the best ghost story for my library.
Was this review helpful?
The Ghost In Apartment 2R by Denis Markell was a nice read this week. This book is about a middle schooler named Danny who lives in Brooklyn. After waiting many years to get his own room, he finally thinks his opportunity has come only to not get it because his parents need it for something else. This paired with all these weird things that start happening around the house leads Danny and his friends to find out his homes history because they think they have a ghost in his apartment.

    This children's fiction book was an enjoyable read. I think middle schoolers will relate to one of the three characters in the book. The book also touched on different cultures such as Arab ad Jewish throughout the characters journey. The neighborhoods were well described and I could picture Brooklyn almost perfectly from the way the author wrote it. The book has the edge of mystery to it to keep the readers attention, although I do think that could have been a bit better. I never had the "I can't put this book down" feeling on this one, but that doesn't mean that others won't, especially kids since they will connect to the characters better than I did. Overall it was a good read and I will be putting this on my list for my future classroom library.

*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review*
Was this review helpful?