Summary

 

Ten year-old Christina Rose hates made-up ghost stories, the ones you find in books. That's because she knows what real ghosts are like. When Christina was three, she saw her mother's ghost the night she died in a plane crash--only no one, not even her father, believed her. Now her family has moved to North Klondike, California, and her next-door neighbor and soon-to-be friend Roberto Wing announces that the new house is haunted by two very creepy ghosts named the Widow and Hans Hanson. 
Strange things start to happen, and the ever suspicious Christina wonders if phantoms really do haunt the house. To investigate, Roberto, Christina, and her brother Danny team up to form a ghost-hunters' club and enlist the aid of parapsychologist I. Barrymore and the mysterious Madame Olga.
The club members find that everyone has a real ghost story to share--some funny, some foolish, and some quite frightening. Ages 8 & up.

 

 Table of Contents

You'll have to read the book if you want to know all about the ghost stories that the characters tell, but here's a list of all ten ghost stories that appear in the book, by chapter.
Most of the stories end up being related to the other stories, especially the three part locket ghost story that Christina begins in Chapter 1. What's the mystery of the locket? You'll find out at the end of the book!
 
Chapter 1 My Very First Ghost Story by Christina Rose (The Locket, Part 1) and My Very First Ghost Story (continued) by Christina Rose
 
Chapter 2 A Ghosty Dream by Christina Rose (The Airplane)
 
Chapter 4 Roberto Wing's Ghost Story(The Widow and Hans Hanson)
 
Chapter 6 Madame Olga's Ghost Story (The Irrigation Ditch)
 
Chapter 7 Professor Barrymore's First Ghost Story (A Cup of Tea)
 
Chapter 9 The First Ghost Story of John Rose (Highgate Cemetery)
 
Chapter 11 Professor Barrymore's Second Ghost Story (The Toilet Flushing Ghost)
 
Chapter 12 The Second Ghost Story of John Rose (The Locket, Part 2)
 
Chapter 13 The Third Ghost Story of John Rose (The Locket, Part 3)

 

Reviews

School Library Journal

"Lively and filled with humor.... Deem does a marvelous job of creating and sustaining believable and unique voices for the characters.... Children will relish this book for the ghost stories, which all fit smoothly into the narrative."

Booklist

"The inclusion of some Christina Rossetti poetry and the generally humorous tone are added bonuses for a title that will be a popular choice for ghost story fans."

Notes from the Windowsill

"Artfully relating supernatural activities to the feeling of a family in the midst of loss and change, this clever book combines genuine emotional resonance with the appeal of a good yarn. Readers looking for a few light chills may be both surprised and pleased."

Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books

"Deem ultimately offers not only several good ghost stories...but also a subtle treatment of the human desire for ghosts.... The result is a quirky, often touching, and entertaining read suitable for ghost fans jaded by their usual haunts."

VOYA

"This novel deals with three themes...coping with the death of a loved one, moving to a new home, and developing new friendships. What sets Deem's novel apart from others with similar themes and makes it so enjoyable and difficult to put down is its unusual mix of genres: detective/paranormal/humor."

The Horn Book

"Twins Christina and Danny move with their father to California after their mother is killed in an accident. There they believe they are being haunted. With the help of a psychic and a university professor, they discover more about themselves and their family. The story is both humorous and poignant. Christina peppers her narration with 'true' ghost stories that are fun and revealing."

 

Honors

Honor book for the Washington Irving Children's Book Choice Award for Older Readers, by the Westchester County (NY) Public Library Association, May 1998.

 

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James M Deem

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Prisoners of Breendonk by James M Deem