“All this time I’d been afraid of leaving home. Now I saw that my talents could rip me from it while I stood in my very own bedroom.”

In The Keening by A. LaFaye, Lyza is a teenager living in rural Maine during the flu epidemic of 1918. Her mother dies and her father retreats into his own mental illness, carving ghostly faces in wood all day and waiting for his wife’s spirit to visit him. Lyza must rescue him from relatives who want to lock him up in a sanitarium, and find a way for both of them to live without her mother’s assistance. With her friend Jake as a companion, she travels to the “big city” of Portland to search for her mother’s friend who might help her – but when she discovers a secret about Jake, her whole world changes and she comes to accept the truth about what she really is.

There is not enough of a solid adversary or otherworldly journey to quite qualify this as Girls Underground, but the theme of discovering her unusual abilities and the eerie atmosphere make it a worthwhile Honorable Mention.

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