Tweens Read August Day 14: Tricia Clasen & The Haunted House Project

Tweens Read August is a 14 day event taking place for the first two weeks of August. I’ll be hosting authors, regardless of debut year, whose books I’m the most excited for. Each day, I’ll announce who the next author is at the end of the post. There’s also a giveaway going on, so be sure to check that out!

It’s the last day of Tweens Read August :( this event has been so much fun, and I hope you had as much fun with it as I did. Be sure to enter the giveaway below before it’s over! I’ll be doing a recap post in a day or two, but for now, let’s celebrate the ending with an excerpt from Tricia Clasen’s middle-grade upcoming debut The Haunted House Project!

Here’s a little bit about it:

the haunted house project by tricia clasen

Release Date: September 6th, 2016

Add to Goodreads

Since her mom died, Andie’s family has crumbled. Instead of working, her dad gambles away insurance money, while her sister, Paige, has put her future on hold in order to pick up extra waitressing shifts. Andie’s afraid of what will happen if people find out just how bad things are. She’s not sure how long she can hide the fact that there’s no food or money in the house…or adults, for that matter.

When her science partner suggests they study paranormal activity, Andie gets an idea. She wants a sign from her mom—anything to tell her it’s going to be okay. Maybe the rest of her family does too. So she starts a project of her own. Pretending to be her mother’s ghost, Andie sprays perfume, changes TV channels, and moves pictures. Haunting her house is Andie’s last hope to bring her family back into the land of the living.

For anyone who loved Counting by 7s, The Haunted House Project is a journey through loss and grief, but ultimately a story of hope and self-reliance. As much as Andie has been changed by her mother’s death, the changes she makes herself are the ones that are most important.

Description taken from Goodreads.


After class starts, Isaiah turns toward the front of the room and gives all his attention to the teacher. After about twenty minutes of being forced to pretend that chemical bonds are exciting, the teacher announces that we have the rest of the class to work on our projects. We’re supposed to be learning about the scientific method. So, we have to do background research on a science topic, plus do our own simple experiment where we create a hypothesis and figure out the variables. Isaiah and I have been brainstorming for a week, and we still haven’t decided what we’re going to research.

“Are you into the environment?”

“Huh?” I ask.

“You know, like the ozone layer, or recycling.”

“We used to compost,” I say, too quickly. Please don’t ask me why we stopped, I think. His eyes narrow, but he doesn’t say anything else about it.


I crinkle my nose and shake my head.


I shrug.


My mouth drops, and I punch him in the arm. I’m so mad I wish I could I have hit his face instead.

“What?” he asks.

“Don’t make fun of me.”

“I’m not. I mean it. We could study paranormal activity.”

“For science?”

“Sure, why not?”

My heart rate picks up and I sit a little straighter.

I open my notebook and start writing. We talk fast, and I can barely keep up with my notes. The ideas are flowing. “Hold on,” I say as I try to get them all on paper.

It’s quiet for a second while I try to draft a potential thesis statement.

“Can I ask you a question?”

Something about the tone of his voice makes me stop writing and look up. Usually Isaiah is loud and pushy, but his voice is quiet and slow, and this feels more personal.

“Do you ever see her? Or hear her? Or anything?”

He doesn’t have to say who for me to know he means my mom. I don’t respond at first. I just stare at him.

“Like, do you think she’s a ghost?”

With anyone else, I would probably grunt or run out of the room or something, but the curiosity in his eyes doesn’t scare me. It’s kind of nice actually. He really seems to want to know. “No. But I keep looking for her.”

He sighs. “Yeah, I would, too.”

It’s possible Isaiah just went from the geeky kid I have to sit next to in science class to my favorite person in the whole world.

About the Author

tricia clasen author photo

Tricia is a college professor of communication at University of Wisconsin-Rock County. She is co-editor of Gendered Identities: Critical Readings of Gender in Children’s and Young Adult Literature, forthcoming Fall of 2016 by Routledge.  She grew up in a small town in Wisconsin.  Always a lover of a good story, she spent her days reading and dreaming of being a writer, though she never wrote any fiction until much later. After many years off exploring, she returned to her much-too- frigid home state where she lives with her husband and two girls, her parents, and what seems like small zoo.  Most of her time goes to shuttling her kids to dance and trying to get the glitter off the kitchen floor as well as planning trips to much warmer destinations. Her debut novel, THE HAUNTED HOUSE PROJECT, will be published in October by Sky Pony Press.


Thanks to Tricia for being a part of Tweens Read August and sharing an excerpt with us! If you’re interested in more, add The Haunted House Project to Goodreads! Thanks to all of you for being a part of Tweens Read August and be sure to check out all the great posts as well as the giveaway going on.


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