________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 14. . . .December 3, 2010.


Five Days of the Ghost. 20th Anniversary Edition.

William Bell.
Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2010.
204 pp., pbk., $12.95.
ISBN 978-1-55455-152-1.

Subject Headings:
Ghosts-Juvenile fiction.
Haunted houses-Juvenile fiction.
Brothers and sisters-Juvenile fiction.
Indians of North America-Canada-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 6-10 / Ages 11-15.

Review by Tanya Boudreau.





I stood there shaking, holding the cross out, keeping it between me and the spooky figure on the gravestone, wondering if it would do any good.

John’s voice sounded strained. “Uh, do you live around here?”

Boy, could he come up with stupid questions sometimes!

“Yep.” The man’s body seemed to relax a bit. He pulled at his earlobe.

More silence. It’s hard to think of something to say when you’re in a forbidden graveyard at midnight and you’re standing across from an old, half-naked man you think might be a ghost. He didn’t look cold, but I was freezing.

John and Noah were shivering like that’s been tobogganing in their underwear for the last two hours. And the man had that sort of glow that he’d had two nights ago. I could tell now that it wasn’t from the moonlight.

“Would you mind telling us your name?” Noah asked politely.

“Nope. I’m Chief Copegog. How ‘bout you?”

I looked at the gravestone. Behind the man’s leather leggings I could make out the part of the name Copegog carved into the marble. Was he the ghost of the guy buried there?

No one is allowed on the island with the old sacred graveyard, but John and his sister Karen are sneaking out to explore it. While there, they meet a man who leaves no footprints when he walks and no visible breath when he exhales in the cold night air. They can’t explain his presence, but they are intrigued enough to begin researching the paranormal and recruiting an expert in the field. Life changes for teenagers John and Karen after they visit Chief’s Island. Waiting at home for them is a ghost that comes out at night to knock on doors, laugh out loud and run down the halls. Believing there is a connection between the two ghosts, Karen and John investigate the history of the island and their house. The link they uncover will see two dead enemies confront and then forgive each other, and two twins reunite despite incredible barriers. Set in Orillia, ON, this fast-moving ghost story is told over the course of five days. The suspense builds as a medicine bag from the graveyard is opened and spirits find ways to communicate their purpose and feelings.

     Originally published in 1989, this revised edition has an appealing new cover and updated text that includes recent technologies, such as sound recorders and camera phones. Readers will be entertained as the dead come to rest and the living experience a greater understanding of life.

     Author William Bell has written many books for young adults, including Crabbe and Only in the Movies. He lives in Ontario.  


Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.

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

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