Children's Literature - Elizabeth FronkBecky and Ben are visiting their grandparents. Ben is very excited to hear about a haunted house up the street; Becky believes ghosts are a figment of one's imagination. Grandpa suggests that Becky and Ben spend the night in the haunted house. Upon their arrival, the door opens for them and a meal is waiting. Grandpa tells the children the story of a sea captain and his widow, Eliza, waiting for him and it is her spirit that still haunts the Jones house. In the night, Ben awakens and cannot find Grandpa; he assumes that Eliza has taken him. Even doubting Becky begins to wonder about spirit of Eliza. Both children must overcome their doubts and find Grandpa. This story is part of the "We Both Read" series where an adult reads one side of the page and a child can read the facing page. Words that are in bold appear on both sides of the page; some of these choices are better than others; it is curious why the word candelabra does not appear in bold as it is not a common item. Aside from an odd choice of words in bold and a rushed ending, the story has a nice level of suspense and would appeal to older first graders through second grade.
Library Journal - Library JournalGr 1-3-Following the series format, this book is meant to be shared by an adult with a beginning reader. The text on the left-hand page contains more difficult vocabulary and highlights words in bold that appear in the easier text on the right. Here, Ben and Becky are visiting their grandparents and learn about a haunted house in the neighborhood. Grandpa arranges an overnight visit to it, but in the middle of the night, he disappears. The siblings must then overcome their fears and find out what happened to him. The story is entertaining and has just the right amount of suspense. Johnson's colorful illustrations of the siblings exploring the haunted house are filled with expression. The youngsters are wide-eyed with curiosity and a touch of fear as they search for Grandpa. The spooky touches are handled with a lightness appropriate for the age level.-Maura Bresnahan, Shawsheen School, Andover, MA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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