CM . . .
. Volume XI Number 9 . . . .January 7, 2005
Barbara Smith has written a collection of 14 ghost stories where the phantoms are connected to animals, often beloved pets. No one is actually hurt here, but certainly people are frightened. Subject matter includes a mysterious aquarium that seems haunted and causes the fish to move abnormally fast at times: a teenage hunter who takes shot at a phantom deer, ghost birds living high in the mountains that terrorize a group of hikers, and a dog, Laddie, whose ghost continued to protect Elizabeth and her father all through her school years. The author's great regard for animals is evident in all the tales and adds to their appeal.
The stories are well written and require that the reader has a sufficient level of comprehension to notice the details that knit the plot together. These stories, which are set in England or the United States and sound contemporary, tackle issues such as bullying, fear of moving to a new location, and renting apartments. A list of sources used for inspiration includes books published between 1965 and 2000 and issues of Fate Magazine from 1956-1972. As the interest in ghosts, poltergeists, the paranormal and psychics, as well as pets, is unending for the upper elementary students, these stories will appeal. Besides their subject matter, the author's claim that she is merely retelling what happened makes the stories all the more spooky.
Meredith MacKeen is a teacher-librarian at Glen Stewart Elementary Stratford in Charlottetown, PE.
on this title or this review, send mail to email@example.com.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal
use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.