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“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read.”
Summary: Kathy Henly (11) wakes to hear mysterious voices. Her family assures her that she’s just imagining things. Her brother David suggests that she go with him and his friend Frank on a late-night ghost hunt to put her fears to rest. To their surprise they not only meet a ghost, but travel back to 1879, and have to solve a series of riddles in order to return home. They are frightened, cold, hungry, and without resources. What’s going to happen? Will they see their parents again? This is a middle reader mystery story.
Type of Reading: family reading, independent reading, read aloud book, remedial reader, reluctant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 12; read yourself: 11 and up
Interest Level: 9 and up
Reading Level: 5
Age of Child: Read by student at Woodside Magnet High School for Arts and Communication (Newport News, VA)
Young Reader Reaction: This is an exciting book. It was hard to understand sometimes, but I still liked it. This is a good book for middle school and early high school students. The book is interesting and it has lots of action.
Adult Reader Reaction: The plot grabs the reader immediately. The twists and turns that the adventure takes keep the reader engaged. The time travel to Boulder, Colorado, 1879, provides some perspective on the life and times in the mining towns in the late nineteenth century.
Pros: This is a good wholesome adventure/time travel/ghost story about which readers in the suggested age range should be excited.
Borrow or Buy: Buy! The book is one for readers' bookshelves at home. It is also one that would be an asset to the classroom or the school library shelves. Woodside: Borrow. Some people might think it is too hard to understand.
Educational Themes: The characters and plot provide material to discuss personal relationships and problem solving. The setting creates an opportunity to appreciate the hardships, challenges, and accomplishments of our ancestors.