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Ghost Ship

Ghost Ship

3.8 5
by Dietlof Reiche, John Brownjohn (Translator)

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A contemporary, wholly original, spine-tingling ghost story born of pirate legend that School Library Journal calls "reminiscent of the film Pirates of the Caribbean."

Vicki plans to spend her summer vacation waitressing in her father's famous seaside restaurant. But when the bay goes dry and a 1772 sailing ship appears, Vicki's course is reset. Where the greedy


A contemporary, wholly original, spine-tingling ghost story born of pirate legend that School Library Journal calls "reminiscent of the film Pirates of the Caribbean."

Vicki plans to spend her summer vacation waitressing in her father's famous seaside restaurant. But when the bay goes dry and a 1772 sailing ship appears, Vicki's course is reset. Where the greedy mayor sees dollar signs, and a nosy reporter sees something fishy, Vicki sees ghosts. Determined to discover the truth and to uncover old family secrets, Vicki and her new best friend Peter venture into the deep to face the unimaginable.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Those who enjoyed Reiche's humorous Golden Hamster Saga will find he makes a dramatic departure with this novel set in an oceanside town. Part high seas adventure, part mystery, the story begins with a flashback scene of a New England woodcarver in 1772, crafting a figurehead for a captain who has just purchased a ship called the Storm Goddess. The way in which this craftsman fashions the carving contributes prominently to the plot, as the opening chapter hints. The next chapter flashes forward to the present, as 12-year-old Vicki helps out in her father's restaurant-where the Storm Goddess's figurehead now decorates the wall. How these two tales join makes for some page-turning reading: the town's shady mayor is a descendent of that ship's captain, Vicki's father is related to the ship's quartermaster-whose journal winds up in Vicki's hands, and who refers to some "ill-gotten" gold. Vicki's obsession with the figurehead leads to her discovery of a crucial clue tucked inside it, and odd events result. The Storm Goddess itself winds up beached outside the restaurant, strange voices seem to emanate from the ship, and the whereabouts of 1500 doubloons come into question. Readers will root for this underdog heroine and Peter, the vacationing boy she befriends, as they set out to solve the mystery and put the ghostly crew to rest. Even if Vicki's other relationships (with her grandmother, father and sister) are sketchy, her friendship with Peter will carry fans of mysteries and pirate lore along. Ages 9-12. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Twelve-year-old Vicki is spending the summer helping out at Ye Olde Seashell Room, her father's restaurant located in a New England shore town. Seashells cover the walls, and the head from the figurehead of the Storm Goddess, a ship lost at sea 230 years ago, looks down on the diners. One day the bay inexplicably dries up and the Storm Goddess appears in it looking as good as new. Vicki and her tourist friend Peter try to solve the mystery with the help of a journal belonging to the ship's last quartermaster before the ship disappeared. Soon they literally see and hear the crew and witness some of the disastrous events that led to the crew's violent demise. Lost treasure and old curses from the past are challenges for Vicki to figure out. Getting in her way are an unscrupulous mayor more interested in money than in the town's welfare, his confederate police chief, a snooping reporter, and other colorful characters. Translated from the German, this amalgam of ghost story, adventure, and mystery is extremely well written and will keep the reader involved. Vicki is a plucky heroine who might just engage male as well as female readers. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2005 (orig. 2002), Scholastic, 313p., Ages 11 to 14.
—Jane Van Wiemokly
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-In 1772, onboard the Storm Goddess, a horrible injustice was committed. Men were killed, gold was stolen, and the crew was cursed. Now, 230 years later, 12-year-old Vicki has discovered a secret hidden inside the ship's figurehead, which hangs in her father's restaurant, and the quartermaster's journal has been found and read. Unexplainable things begin to happen-the sea leaves the bay and the fully restored ship appears on the mudflats. Vicki and her friend Peter must defy dangerous odds in order to sneak on board the Storm Goddess and try to somehow break its curse. Reiche (I, Freddy [Scholastic, 2003]) has entered new ground with this traditional ghost story. Some story elements are reminiscent of the film Pirates of the Caribbean, including the atmosphere. Vicki and Peter are fairly stereotypical characters, and several plot progressions depend on sixth-sense movements by the characters. The adults (and Peter), who know what Vicki is up to and the danger she's in, are concerned but stay out of her way. The neat conclusion ties up all the loose ends. Libraries with patrons who love pirate stories and ghosts should probably pick up this plot-driven title, as it will be read.-Melissa Moore, Union University Library, Jackson, TN Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In a distinct change of pace, the author of the "Golden Hamster Saga" crafts an eerie, poignant tale of ghosts and greed in a small resort town. The removal for restoration of an 18th-century ship's figurehead from the wall of a cafe, where Vicki and her father work, sparks a series of eldritch events-notably, the sudden appearance of the figurehead's long-vanished ship, good as new, out in the middle of a bay from which the sea has suddenly withdrawn. With the help of a tourist, her age, named Peter, and a crusading local reporter, Vicki gathers documents and other clues to an old mystery involving a pirated cargo of slaves, a bloody mutiny and a fortune in ill-gotten gold that has both the town's unscrupulous mayor and a menacing stranger on the hunt. Tucking in a sailor's tantalizingly incomplete journal, apparitions, nighttime expeditions and other such tasty elements, Reiche moves the plot along on a current of well-timed revelations to a climactic contact across the centuries that leaves the ghostly crew laid to rest and Vicki in possession of a second, previously unsuspected, treasure. The internal logic here is sometimes shaky, but atmospheric writing, ingenious ideas and engaging characters compensate. (Fiction. 11-13)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Apple Signature Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Dietlof Reiche's middle-grade and young adult novels have garnered many awards in his native Germany, including the German Juvenile Literature Award and the Oldenburg's Children's Book Prize.

Born in Dresden, Germany, in 1942, Reiche spent his early childhood in the village of Nördlingen, the town where his first historical novel Der Bleisiegelfälscher (The Lead Seal Counterfeiter), is set. Before becoming a full-time writer of children's books, Reiche studied engineering. He later took an academic position at Darmstadt Technical University, followed by studies in sociology, and work as a graphic designer.

Many of Reiche's books are historical fiction, but he also enjoys mixing history with fantastic elements, and often brings his wonderful sense of humor and his concern for the environment to his books.

In Reiche's exciting new novel Ghost Ship, he blends contemporary life with history and the supernatural to create one captivating adventure. His Golden Hamster Saga series: I, Freddy; Freddy in Peril; Freddy to the Rescue; and the forthcoming, Freddy and the Ferocious Ferrets is hilariously narrated by Freddy the Golden hamster, and was inspired by memories of the numerous pet hamsters Reiche had as a child.

Dietlof Reiche lives with his wife in Hamburg, Germany.

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Ghost Ship 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hunter_Jumper_Life More than 1 year ago
I haven't read this book in a very long time but the last time I read it I loved it! Good characters, plot, and good writing style. I think it's a must read for anyone interested in mysteries.
MysteryLover11 More than 1 year ago
Gost Ship got me so interested in it, that I could not shut the light off at night! I was up till about 1:00 am reading it most days. If you have never read it, and you like thrilling adventures and mysteries, then you would absolutly love it! After I read it, my whole family did and they loved it as well. I would say that it is a good book for 11 years old and up. It would be too much for 9 year olds and down. 10 year olds could read it but my cousin got scared and she is 10. The Fist Prologue was very exciting to me and that is what got me hooked. Here is what got me hooked, "But that was later. Much later. About two hundred thirty years later." Isn't that so cool! Mystery lovers, you would so love this book!
OKDOCKAY More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was great. I really enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone who likes suspence and curses. This book had me hook till the end!!!