I’m about 2/3 of the way through the third book in Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood and Co. series, The Hollow Boy.
Although these are books about ghosts, they aren’t really scary, which is why I can read them. The Hollow Boy gets into much more character development and moves Lucy, our narrator, Lockwood & George beyond the sort of stereotypical Harry Potter trio trope. The humor is still there. Lucy is testing her ability to talk to ghosts, we learn more about Lockwood’s past and George gets a little more depth. The problem of “The Problem” isn’t solved yet, so we can look forward to a fourth book.
Publisher’s Summary: As a massive outbreak of supernatural Visitors baffles Scotland Yard and causes protests throughout London, Lockwood & Co. continue to demonstrate their effectiveness in exterminating spirits. Anthony Lockwood is dashing, George insightful, and Lucy dynamic, while the skull in the jar utters sardonic advice from the sidelines. There is a new spirit of openness in the team now that Lockwood has shared some of his childhood secrets, and Lucy is feeling more and more as if her true home is at Portland Row. It comes as a great shock, then, when Lockwood and George introduce her to an annoyingly perky and hyper-efficient new assistant, Holly Munro.
Meanwhile, there are reports of many new hauntings, including a house where bloody footprints are appearing, and a department store full of strange sounds and shadowy figures. But ghosts seem to be the least of Lockwood & Co.’s concerns when assassins attack during a carnival in the center of the city. Can the team get past their personal issues to save the day on all fronts, or will bad feelings attract yet more trouble?
If you are looking for a not too scary series for a middle grade reader, I highly recommend Lockwood & Co.