GirlGhost HC c

  • A Kirkus Prize 2020 finalist
  • A Junior Library Guild selection
  • A Kids Indie Next List Fall 2020 pick
  • Kirkus Reviews Best MG of 2020
  • A CCBC Choices 2021 selection
  • Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year 2021 selection

A Malaysian folk tale comes to life in this emotionally layered, chilling middle grade debut, perfect for fans of The Book of Boy and The Jumbies.

I am a dark spirit, the ghost announced grandly. I am your inheritance, your grandmother’s legacy. I am yours to command.

Suraya is delighted when her witch grandmother gifts her a pelesit. She names her ghostly companion Pink, and the two quickly become inseparable.

But Suraya doesn’t know that pelesits have a dark side—and when Pink’s shadows threaten to consume them both, they must find enough light to survive . . . before they are both lost to the darkness.

Fans of Holly Black’s Doll Bones and Tahereh Mafi’s Furthermore series will love this ghostly middle grade debut that explores jealousy, love, and the extraordinary power of friendship.

Cover illustration: Anastasia Suvorova | Design team: Alison Donalty & Alice Wang



“Though aspects of the novel embrace the disturbing and grotesque (which will delight many readers), its conclusion is grippingly heart-wrenching and speaks to deeper themes of family, trauma, and friendship…A fascinating, page-turning tale.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

“Alkaf’s middle-grade debut is unapologetically—and beautifully—Malaysian… it sizzles with tension and safe-but-ghoulish imagery, without letting go of the heartfelt thread of love between a girl and her ghost.” (Booklist)

“I can’t stop thinking about THE GIRL AND THE GHOST, a desperately beautiful novel about the many ways people can be haunted and the transformative power of friendship and love. A spellbinding story, told with an enormous heart. (Anne Ursu, author of the National Book Award Longlist title, The Real Boy)

“Delightfully gruesome, humorous, haunted and heart wrenching, The Girl and the Ghost is an intense tale of grief, family, friendship and forgiveness.”  (Robin Yardi, author of The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez)


Coming from HarperCollins on August 4th, 2020!