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Cold in Summer

Edgar Award nominee, New York Public Library's "Books for the Teen Age," "Best Fantasy Books of the Year" (VOYA), "The Best Children's Books of the Year" (Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College of Education), Mark Twain Award nominee (Missouri Association of School Librarians), South Carolina Book Award nominee, Volunteer State Book Award (TN) nominee

Ariadne's loneliness, her adjustment to small-town life, and her suspicions of the new friends she makes at school and in the neighborhood are right on the mark. Barrett crafts a fine ghost story that will appeal to those who like mystery and intrigue as well as a good regional story.
Voice of Youth Advocates

Lots of peril, an intriguing mystery, and a young heroine who figures it out on her own using inventive investigative techniques and a whole lot of gumption—this is a great book for young readers.

Ariadne makes a convincing character, wrapped up in her own problems at the beginning, but increasingly willing to extend herself to help others as the story progresses. The adventure scenes at the end of the book speed up the pace in a satisfying way and lead to a resounding conclusion.

. . . just right for the diversion demanded by rainy days, long weekends, and summertime.
The Horn Book

A genuine ghost story without coincidental explanations that will draw readers eerily in.

Tension arises from Ariadne's investigation of the colorful local history and her attempt to carry out May's wishes. . . . The story offers enough teasers to keep the audience going until the action-packed climax.
Publishers Weekly

Barrett's ghost is not of the horrific, goosebump-inducing variety, but the near-fatal consequences of Ariadne's investigation infuse this capably written tale with a pervasive sense of impending danger. Readers seeking spirited suspense without nightmares should look here.
The Bulletin

For 12-year-old Ariadne, the summer before seventh grade just stinks. Her family has moved from suburban Florida to Dobbin, Tennessee. . . . Knowing she has to adjust, Ariadne tries to make friends, even with the strange girl named May she meets in the woods. However, no one else seems to know May, and before long, Ariadne starts hearing stories about other people in town who have seen a girl dressed in old-fashioned clothes who lives in the woods. . . . May not only helps Ariadne solve a mystery, but also helps her find herself.

Ariadne has just enough Sherlock Holmes in her to try to find out what is so mysterious about May and some of the people in the town she lives in. Join Ariadne in her investigation of a most unsettling mystery. Read Cold in Summer by Tracy Barrett.
— South Carolina Book Awards, 2006

Cold in Summer is a contemporary ghost story about a brave girl, the necessity of friendships and a discovery of a new home.
— National Center for the Study of Children's Literature

Selected works

For a complete list, see my Writing page.

Click on a title for reviews and information!

Ever since Clancy's mother died in a skydiving accident, her father has watched her like a hawk. Between her dad's rules and her boyfriend's protectiveness, she's longing for an escape.
Marabel must make her own fate in this funny, heartfelt, and delightfully feminist romp through fantasy and fairy-tale conventions.
Sometimes you don't know what really happened until you hear the other side of the story.
This tale of love, faith, and betrayal retells the myth of the minotaur as never before.
Homer's Odyssey as told by Telemachos, the son of Odysseus
Book 1 of The Sherlock Files
Book 2 of The Sherlock Files
Book 3 of The Sherlock Files
Book 4 of The Sherlock Files
Will Hector be able to right an ancient wrong?
Is helping a mysterious new friend worth the risk?
Intrigue in the world of medieval Byzantium
Selected nonfiction
Seventeen little-known Greek myths, retold with humor, suspense, and authority
A lively history of the people, culture, and achievements of ancient Greece.