This is a nifty story centered around a scary house, three very curious intelligent friends, and a artefact mystery.  This is a story perfect for boys and girls and anyone who enjoys Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys type series.  
Oz Chambers is our main character that lives with his mom in the old Penwurt Orphanage that his father inherited right before he was killed in a car crash.  This old building is listed as one of the "Haunted Places of Seabourne" and Oz loves living in it.  
The story starts out on Halloween night, which was a great idea for the author to do, because we are already waiting for something spooky to happen on All Hallow's Eve.  And what happens sends Oz and his two best friends, Ellie and Ruff, on a ghost hunt; uncovering history and clues that bring them more closer to finding out why Penhurt is the way it is.  
This story has a few similarities to the Harry Potter Series, but not in a bad way.  Mainly just the close relationship the three friends have as well as Ellie being the smart independent girl, Ruff is really funny and smart in his own way, and Oz is the one the story is centered around.  Except this story is more modern-they talk about video games, cell phones, and the internet.  
I feel like the target audience can appreciate the similarities but also look forward to the direction this story takes.  I know my 8 year old twins would love this book, and I would definitely recommend this novel as a reading project for a family.  
There is also a lot of English slang in this book, but most of it was pretty easy to figure out using context clues.    I especially enjoyed Ruff's favorite word "buzzard", which he uses to describe every emotion he ever feels.  
I believe there is enough action to keep one interested but not overly too much of it to make the story become distracting.