Ally Malinenko

Ally Malinenko is a poet, novelist, and librarian living in Brooklyn, New York, where she pens her tales in a secret writing closet before dawn each day. Connect with Ally on her website at

Photo by Bill Wadman

Books and Blurbs

Perfect for fans of Small Spaces and Nightbooks, Ally Malinenko’s debut is an empowering and triumphant ghost story——with spooky twists sure to give readers a few good goosebumps!

Zee Puckett loves ghost stories. She just never expected to be living one.

It all starts with a dark and stormy night. When the skies clear, everything is different. People are missing. There’s a creepy new principal who seems to know everyone’s darkest dreams. And Zee is seeing frightening things: large, scary dogs that talk and maybe even . . . a ghost.

When she tells her classmates, only her best friend Elijah believes her. Worse, mean girl Nellie gives Zee a cruel nickname: Ghost Girl.

But whatever the storm washed up isn’t going away. Everyone’s most selfish wishes start coming true in creepy ways.

To fight for what’s right, Zee will have to embrace what makes her different and what makes her Ghost Girl. And all three of them—Zee, Elijah, and Nellie—will have to work together if they want to give their ghost story a happy ending.

Ghost Girl is a wondrous mix of mystery, empowering adventure, and spooky scares about a most unusual girl and the strange nightmares she must conquer. It’s the kind of ghost story that helps readers overcome their fears while putting them on the edge of their seats. ‒ Joe Ballarini, author of The Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting

Ghost Girl is a grand buffet for any lover of spooky tales. Within its pages you’ll find a misty graveyard, creepy hounds, terrifying spirits, moonlit chases—and a silver-tongued villain who will send chills down your spine.  At the center of it all is a winning protagonist and a heartfelt message about staying true to yourself and the power of friendship. Read it with a cup of hot cocoa on a dark and stormy night! ‒ J. A. White, author of Nightbooks and the Shadow School series

Ghost Girl will haunt your heart (and you’ll thank her!). Whether you’re a fan of ghost stories, fun/spooky mysteries, or books with all the feels, you’re sure to love Ally Malinenko’s fabulous debut novel about acceptance and the incredible power of friendship. Sign me up for the sequel! ‒ Ryan Calejo, author of the Charlie Hernández series

Malinenko has crafted a vivid portrait of what it’s like to be young and scared, even as she reminds you that fear can only win if you let it. A good horror novel should plunge you into darkness, but it should also guide you back toward the light. Ghost Girl—just like its heroine—absolutely rises to the challenge. ‒ Alison Ames, author of To Break A Covenant

A creepy, addicting story that kept me up at night! This chilling mystery has thoughtful portrayals of family and friendship, nail-biting moments, a terrifying villain and wonderful storytelling that will surely delight fans of spooky tales. ‒ Daka Hermon, author of Hide and Seeker

“Debut author Ally Malinenko writes an atmospheric tale that is rife with chilling moments and an affecting exploration of grief…” – Publisher’s Weekly

“A girl who delights in the macabre harnesses her inherited supernatural ability. The creepy supernatural current continues throughout, intermingled with very real forays into bullying (Zee won’t stand for it or for the notion that good girls need to act nice), body positivity, socio-economic status and social hierarchy, and mental health. This debut from a promising writer involves a navigation of caste systems, self-esteem, and villainy that exists in an interesting world with intriguing characters . . . Warning: this just might spurn frenzied requests for Frankenstein.” — Kirkus Reviews

From the author of Ghost Girl comes another standalone spooky middle grade for fans of Nightbooks and Ghost Squad, about a terrifying house and the girl haunted by her experience with cancer, grief, and healing. Are you brave enough to step inside?

For as long as anyone could remember there wasn’t a house at the dead end of Juniper Drive . . . until one day there was.

When Jac first sees the House, she’s counting down to the five-year anniversary of her cancer diagnosis, when she hopefully will be declared NED, or “no evidence of disease.” But with a house appearing, and her hands shaking, and a fall off her bike, Jac is starting to wonder if these are symptoms—or if something stranger is happening.

Two classmates dare Jac and her friend Hazel to enter the House. Walking through the front door is the way in. It’s definitely not the way out. There’s something off about the House; Jac can feel it. The same way she knows it’s no coincidence that the House appeared for her five-year marker. It wants something from her. And she won’t be able to get out until she figures out what.

★ “Plenty of imaginative frights to creep out even the most fearless young connoisseur of scary stories. Through Jac, Malinenko also offers a vital corrective to narratives of disease and disability still commonplace in children’s literature. At once an inventive and satisfying haunted house story and a powerful exploration of coming to terms with and beginning to heal from trauma, This Appearing House is a triumph.” — BookPage

“Employing haunted house tropes, Malinenko’s (Ghost Girl) ominous telling explores layers of anxiety . . . a strong third-person voice accurately evokes the feeling of long-bubbling uncertainty as well as familial and personal fear amid recovery.” — Publishers Weekly

“Children still emerging out of their own traumatic experiences of a global pandemic, life interrupted, and severed social connections may find Jac’s pain particularly resonant; there is nothing to do except go through it . . . [H]er emergence as a girl who understands that life waiting for doom isn’t her only option is hard won and meaningful.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

This Appearing House is a wise and terrifying story that stares into the heart of fear and faces the nightmares within. This important book is sure to be a friend to anyone who’s ever felt defeated, scared, and alone. A gripping mystery that keeps the reader hungry for more. In This Appearing House, Ally Malinenko proves that the most horrifying stories are born from our most frightening truths.” — K. A. Reynolds, author of The Land of Yesterday and The Spinner of Dreams

This Appearing House is as beautiful as it is spooky, with unnerving surprises around every corner. Malinenko paints a heartfelt tale of a girl who’s defied fate, already faced worse than monsters, and knows the only way out is through. A smart, chilling house of haunts.” — Hailey Piper, author of The Worm and His Kings

For signed books visit Books of Wonder or WORD Bookstore


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