________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 6 . . . .November 12, 2004


Ghost Hotel. (Arthur Slade's Canadian Chills, #2).

Arthur Slade.
Regina, SK: Coteau Books, 2004.
134 pp., pbk., $7.95.
ISBN 1-55050-306-5.

Grades 4-8 / Ages 9-13.

Review by Christina Pike.

**** /4



"Waallllllttteerrrrr!" Cindy said. "Waaaaarrrrrtt!" I pointed the fanlight: her face was beginning to stretch downwards as though it were made of melting wax.

"Woooooow!" I said. My hands were stretching, my fingers as long as ski poles. If I stayed like this, I'd be able to tap someone's shoulders from ten meters away. We were going amazingly fast - maybe we'd break some time/ speed warp barrier.

Then - thunk! The elevator stopped and our bodies flew up and snapped back into their former shapes and sizes. Gravity yanked us to the floor in a jumble of limbs, aching tendons, stretched muscles, and frazzled nerves. I patted my face to be sure it was normal. Without the slightest fuss, the elevator lights winked back on, and the door opened.

We tumbled out onto solid ground. Well, carpet anyway. The door closed behind us. We were on the mezzanine floor again. A man in a black suit and red tie walked by, yelling into his cellphone about shares in the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

"We're back, " Cindy said. "Creeping catfish! We're back."


In his second book in the "Canadian Chills" series, Arthur Slade introduces his readers to Walter Biggar Bronson, or Wart as his friends call him, and to Wart's sidekick, Cindy, both 12-year-old detectives. After a winning game of badminton, a young boy appears to Wart and Cindy at their school and leads them to the Saskatoon's legendary Bessborough Hotel. Attempting to find out who this boy is, Wart and Cindy enter the elevator of the hotel and find themselves transported back to the 1936. Unsure of the identity of the boy, the young detectives following their instincts and approach the hotel clerk who directs them to the mysterious Room 649. It is here that they begin to suspect that this mystery will not be that easy to solve. Unraveling this mystery will take all of their combined talents and bravery.

     Ghost Hotel delves into the mysterious world of the unknown and attempts to answer the question about what happens to ghosts that are unsettled. It is the unknown that strikes terror in the hearts of readers and forces them to ask "what if?" As the plot unfolds and Wart and Cindy discover the truth of what is really happening, Slade masterfully lets his readers in on the secret as well. This novel is more than a tale of mystery and terror but also includes themes of friendship and pushing your own inner limits. Slade has made his characters believable and their relationship realistic. Wart treats Cindy as his sidekick, but she considers herself to be his equal.

     Ghost Hotel is a good book that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Highly Recommended.

Christina Pike is presently seconded to the Department of Education, Newfoundland.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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