Iris Brave isn't as courageous as her name suggests. That's about to change. Iris doesn't take risks. Heights make her dizzy and she prefers to swim in the shallow end... with nose plugs. On a summer visit to her grandpa's farm, a mysterious stranger shadows Iris, leaving her cryptic messages. When this outsider turns out be a phantom from her family's past, Iris sheds her timid ways to uncover the truth and protect the family she loves. Along the way Iris discovers family secrets and enigmatic figures that lead her to question everything she's ever thought was real. (Goodreads)
I don't tend to read a ton of MG, but this was a seriously fun read and makes me think that I should be enjoying this genre more. Iris is a sweet girl and very identifiable. She's quite mature for her age, and at times I had a hard time picturing her as just 11, but that's certainly not something I'd count against the story. (And who knows, I haven't been around a lot of 11 year old girls lately--I have a whole lot more nephews!) Anyhow, the story was a slow build of suspense that worked really well for me. The characters were all quite well drawn and the story kept me engrossed. The ending left me quite glad that I have the second book all ready to go! :) Final word: definitely something to check out for those fans of middle grade fiction!