The Ghost Sitter [NOOK Book]

Overview

Charlotte is looking forward to spending the summer in her new home-she has her own bedroom, a nearby pool, a friendly neighbor, and there's a big block party coming up. Then her little brother suddenly starts asking for his new friend, "Susie." Is someone else playing with him? Someone only he can see? Soon Charlotte realizes that her all-too-normal house is haunted-by the ...
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The Ghost Sitter

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Overview

Charlotte is looking forward to spending the summer in her new home-she has her own bedroom, a nearby pool, a friendly neighbor, and there's a big block party coming up. Then her little brother suddenly starts asking for his new friend, "Susie." Is someone else playing with him? Someone only he can see? Soon Charlotte realizes that her all-too-normal house is haunted-by the ghost of a girl who doesn't realize that she's dead. . . .



"Has several strong appeals: new best friends solving a mystery together, a just-scary-enough ghost girl, and a deathless bond between sisters that provides the book with its resoundingly satisfying conclusion." (The Horn Book)

When she realizes that her new house is haunted by the ghost of a ten-year-old girl who used to live there, Charlotte tries to help her find peace.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Susie, 10, can't understand why her parents moved out of the house with her younger sister, Gloria, leaving her there alone. Other families move in and out, but they never pay any attention to her; only very young children ever notice her at all. Readers will quickly realize that Susie doesn't know she is dead, the victim of a firecracker accident 50 years ago. When Charlotte moves into the house with her parents and younger brother, she and her neighbor Shannon begin communicating with Susie, and Charlotte realizes that the ghost will only be able to stop haunting the house when she confronts the truth about her death. The idea of an invisible presence in the house, interacting with tiny children and causing puddles of cold air to form, is a spooky one, but this mild ghost story never induces more than a shiver or two. Most of the interest comes from Susie's own perceptions of her strange existence, as well as the new friendship between Charlotte and Shannon. What little tension exists- there seems to be some foreshadowing that harm might come to Charlotte's little brother-simply melts away at the end, which features an emotional meeting between the ghostly Susie and her now-adult sister. Readers who don't like their stories to get too scary will find plenty to enjoy here.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Griffin's (Switching Well, 1993, etc.) worthy ghost story of the lost spirit of a ten-year-old is as thought-provoking as it is goosebump-inducing. Susie has been dead for 50 years but doesn't know it. She vaguely remembers promising her little sister, Gloria, that she would never go away, and she feels bound by this vow even though Gloria and her parents have long since moved. While Susie awaits their return, a family has moved into the house she occupies. The new family includes Charlotte, Brandon, her toddler brother, and their parents. Susie feels compelled to help out with the babysitting by singing and playing with Brandon, who very much enjoys her company while everyone else, Susie feels, rudely acts as though she doesn't exist. With the help of neighborhood legend and some odd occurrences Charlotte is soon given to understand that her house is haunted. The story moves along interestingly as Charlotte overcomes her fear in order to help Susie move on. This diverges from the average ghost story by giving dimension to Susie's ghostliness. Trapped between then and now, life and death, Susie's existence is a constant struggle. She must use great quantities of energy to concentrate as ideas and memories waft away like vapor and she is further frustrated that her attempts to communicate go unnoticed by most. This is entertaining fiction that doesn't for a moment sacrifice solid writing for plot. (Fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101142585
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/16/2002
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 657,254
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • File size: 142 KB

Meet the Author

I am an Air Force brat, born in the long-defunct base at Harlingen. My childhood was spent reading and taking long car trips, as we moved from Texas to Alaska (where I lived through the great Anchorage quake of 1964), Alaska to Iowa (while my father was in Nam), Iowa to Maryland, Maryland back to Texas -- San Angelo, to be precise. I came to San Antonio to attend two universities, from neither of which I graduated. By that time, I was a full-fledged Texan again. In 1987 I married Michael D. Griffin, A.K.A. Damon. We live in a 90-year-old house just north of downtown San Antonio.


I sold my first short story in 1986, and my first book. The audience I aim for, generally, is myself at age ten. I have known seven year olds who read my books with pleasure, and fourteen year olds who found them too hard. Children demand better books than adults do, so I try to answer the demand. The Ghost Sitter is my attempt at a realistic ghost story. In real life (I read true ghost stories extensively), ghosts seldom understand that they're dead, and haunt all sorts of places, even suburban tract homes, not just Gothic mansions.


Readers who want to know me any better than this can check out our webpage.



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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: The Blue House

Moving was a heck of a way to spend the first day of vacation, but Charlotte was too glad to get out of the apartment to mind much. Besides, Mom, Bart, and the movers were doing all the hard work. Her only job, oh joy, was to keep Brandon out from underfoot. Bart set up the playpen under the big peach tree in the backyard of their new blue house. "You two going to be okay back here?" he asked.

"Sure," said Charlotte, dangling Sock Monkey in front of Brandon's face. "Can I climb this tree?"

"Better not, if you want to get any peaches off of it," said Bart. "Holler if you need anything."

Charlotte looked up into the branches, counted the fuzzy green knobs that would be peaches some day, and smiled. Dumping Brandon's toys into the playpen, she watched him scramble for the ring-stack puzzle. "You know, kid, this is a great place," she said. "We'll have fresh peaches off our own tree this summer. I'll keep my bike in the shed, and I can get a cat. We'll play in the yard every day. You can mess up your own room as much as you want, and stay out of mine. How's that sound?"

"Big first," said Brandon, grubbing for stray plastic doughnuts among the toys around him.

"That's right," said Charlotte. Mom said if they all talked to Brandon as if he could understand, he'd learn to have real conversations. "The big green one. Where's that?"

Baby-sitting Brandon took only half Charlotte's brain as long as he was in the pen. She watched him work through the mysteries of the ring-stack puzzle, a frown of concentration on his face. She could barely remember what it was like to be little, to live in a mysterious world too big to take in all at once. Brandon had to focus tightly on one thing at a time in order to think at all. He couldn't daydream or plan, the way Charlotte could, about long hot summer afternoons playing in the shade of the peach tree. They'd swim at the municipal pool four blocks away. When she felt like being alone, she'd leave Brandon with Bart, go into her room, and shut the door. When...

A door banged. Charlotte looked up. A girl carrying two plastic cups marched out of the house next door and up to the fence. "Hi," she said. "I'm Shannon Kohn. Want some lemonade?"

"Okay," said Charlotte. "I'm Charlotte Verstuyft." She walked over to the chain-link fence and took the sweating plastic cup offered to her. She and Shannon sized each other up. Charlotte was the shorter, but Shannon was the skinnier.

"Did you just come to town?" asked Shannon.

"No," said Charlotte. "We were in an apartment on the west side.

But Mom got a job on this side of town. My stepdad's going to convert the garage into an office for his consulting business, and we'll save on day care for Brandon and rent on a storefront, and everything's going to be so cool."

"Is Brandon your stepbrother?"

"Half brother. Bart and Mom got married ages ago."

Shannon waved at Brandon. He waved Sock Monkey back. "He's cute," she said. "I hope the ghost doesn't scare him."

Charlotte eyed Shannon suspiciously. "What ghost?"

"The one in your house," said Shannon, looking her straight in the eye.

"Ha-ha," said Charlotte, folding her arms. "This house isn't old enough to have a ghost."

"It's not so new. This whole subdivision was built right after World War II. That was a long time ago."

Nothing could be more ordinary than this subdivision of nearly identical houses on nearly identical cul-de-sacs. The casement windows of the back bedroom stood open wide, and Charlotte could see and hear the movers wrestling Mom and Bart's ordinary bed through the ordinary door. "Not long enough ago to make a ghost."

"You'll see," said Shannon. "Or maybe you'll hear. Little kids and animals can see her, but once you get older you can't."

"That's because she's not there," said Charlotte, tired of being polite about this.

"Is too," retorted Shannon. "I saw her. I was real little so I can hardly remember, but I threw a ball once and it landed under that tree right there, and I started to climb the fence, and I got my pants caught. And I started crying. And this girl came down out of the tree and brought the ball back and unhooked me from the fence. And then she disappeared."

"Yeah, right," said Charlotte, mashing down the uneasiness in her stomach. "What did she look like?"

"She had brown hair in a ponytail, and her dress was red, white, and blue stripes."

"I bet she was a regular girl."

"Then how did she disappear?"

"This is the biggest load of bull I ever heard," declared Charlotte loudly. "There's no such things as ghosts!"

"That's what Ms. Gonzalez said, the last lady that lived here," said Shannon, unfazed. "She took a year lease and left after six months. She had a baby, and he kept playing with somebody that wasn't there, and one day she found him hovering over his crib. Just floating in the air. So they packed up and left."

Shannon lowered her voice and leaned over the fence. "Last Fourth of July, the house was empty. But I was lighting sparklers, and I looked over here, and I saw lights in the windows of the bedrooms." She pointed. The three bedrooms lined up, back to front, on the side of the house closest to Shannon's yard.

"Kids with flashlights," suggested Charlotte.

Shannon shook her head. "They were a funny kind of greenish light, and they bobbed around at the tops of the windows."

"You should have called the police," said Charlotte. "That's what I'd do. It was probably vandals."

Shannon didn't appear to be listening. "So-I figured-ghosts can't get you on the Fourth of July, right? That's the most unscariest holiday in the world. So I went up to the front window of that bedroom that looks onto the street."

"That's my bedroom," Charlotte informed her.

"Ooh, cool," said Shannon, "except I could never sleep there after what I saw."

"You didn't see a thing."

"I went right up to the window and put my face next to the glass," said Shannon, "and there was this light, bobbing around. Not a solid light, but like a shower of sparks, only they never went out. And suddenly it stopped and swooped right down at me; I mean straight at my face! And before I could back off, it came through the window and right through me! And it was cold! Like as if somebody spilled a bunch of ice water all over my molecules-inside ones, too! I was shivering and had goose pimples all up and down my legs, and it was still ninety degrees outside. So I know there's a ghost."

Charlotte opened her mouth to pour scorn on this story, and jumped as something thumped against her back. She whirled, her heart thumping. Brandon waved both hands at her. "Come play!" He smiled so sweetly it was impossible to be mad at him. Sock Monkey lay in a heap at her feet.

"Hey, he's got a great pitch," said Shannon.

"Yeah, Bart says he's going to be a baseball player," said Charlotte, picking up Sock Monkey. "I need to play with him now, or he'll get all whiny." Besides, if she played with Brandon, she wouldn't have to listen to Shannon's lies. They had to be lies. She took a step closer to the playpen, away from the fence.

But Shannon didn't take the hint. "Do you get paid to baby-sit?"

"No. Why should I? Mom didn't get paid to look after me."

"Mom says mothers should be paid because it's such an important job, and Dad says they should be paid not to have kids because of overpopulation. That's why I'm here, but I don't have any brothers and sisters, to satisfy both of them." She peered over the fence at Brandon, who waved the ring-stack puzzle by the base, scattering plastic doughnuts. "He's cute, in an obnoxious sort of way."

"Lottie play!" Brandon commanded.

"Want to help?" asked Charlotte, trapped.

"Okay," said Shannon, passing her cup over the fence and inserting one skinny bare foot into the chain link to hoist herself over. "But I don't know how much good I'll be."

"Lottie play!"

At least Shannon would be company. "Nothing to it," Charlotte assured her. "Just let him boss you around, and you'll be fine."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2014

    Shatter

    The muscular black tom wolf padded in, her ddep blue eyes scanning the clearing,"Hello," he barked, clearing his throat,"I am Shatter, may I join?" ~Shatter

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2014

    ~ Main Camp ~

    The main camp is filled with lush forest, and scattered with High Stones and rough ground. The alpha female has gathered some nest material to place in dry thickets and in tree hollows. The land is hidden, but airy. The sky casts shadows on the forest floor, giving enough sunlight, but not quite too much in the darker places.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2014

    Cheetah

    This book stinks

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2013

    Anonymous

    Very good

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2012

    This book sucks

    W

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    Love it

    I could read thiss book 10 times over!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 19, 2011

    Should I?

    Should i get the free preview? Or should I not? By the looks of it I think I'll try it. I am rating it a 1 star because i dont know if its good or bad.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2011

    Hi

    Good ghost story.

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  • Posted January 4, 2011

    great i reccomend it

    its awsome you should buy it if you are very intrested in ghost storys read it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2006

    SouthWoods@yahoo.com

    The Ghost Sitter by Edgar Allan, award winning finalist. Reviewed by Ryan Arnel. Come on this scary and exciting journey of, The Ghost Sitter. Charlotte, her little brother Brandon, and her parents move to a different neighborhood. Charlotte is a reliable, caring, and brave character that has to watch her little brother over the summer. Everything seems to be going okay until Brandon starts asking for Susie. ¿Is someone in her house? Is it an imaginary friend? Is there a ghost?¿ Help unleash the mystery of The Ghost Sitter. Will the promise be solved? This is a predictable book, but a good one for kids. The craft is not too hard to understand. If you like scary or adventures books, this is the book for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2006

    Ghost Sitter

    This was the first book I read in my life about ghosts. I am SO glad I read this one first! I was in fifth grade when my friend gave me this and said, 'It's a must-read.' I agreed instantly. I couldn't keep my hands off it until the emotional end. Note to reader: Don't read what the School Library wrote first. It spoils too much. Just READ THE BOOK ONCE YOU GET IT!!! Highly recommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2005

    Ghost Sitter

    This book is my favorite book! I have memorized every word on every page, and I could recite it all from memory. There are only two other books in the world I can do that, but if I mention them, there would be none left, for everyone bought them. Luckily, I have the three, and did I say this was the first book read to me? That's one of the reasons I love it. The Ghost Sitter is so sad, but once you get to the very end and understand it all, you will love it....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2005

    AMAZING BOOK

    This story was good but sad. The plot covered a wide range of emotions. I cried three times, and still couldn't put the book down. I carried it everywhere. The story made me want to research the paranormal and meet a medium. The storyline was about a young girl who did not know she had passed on. When a new family moves into her house their lives collide. I won't ruin the experience by writing too many details. This was one book I read for homeschool that I LOVED!! I can't wait to read more by Peni Griffin.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2005

    golden sower material

    This book is outstanding it was so good that i keep reading it . I told all of my friends to read it they thought it was awesome to!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2004

    This is one Good book for Halloween Time!

    I first read this around Halloween of last year, and it is really good, and not too scary either. A great book for people who don't like really scary books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2003

    Very SAD

    this book was sad. but it was good. it was sad when the little sister killed her older sister. i was practically crying it was soooooo sad.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2003

    Are you interested in a ghost storie?¿

    I liked The Ghost Sitter alot! I liked it because it was very adventurous and exciting. I think those kinds of books are cool. The Ghost Sitter makes you feel like you are in the book. It is exciting when Charttlote and Shannon find Gloria. Susie is the antagonist and Charlotte is the protagonist. I would recommend this book to almost anyone, unless you dont like ghost stories!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2003

    Want to read a great book?¿

    I enjoyed this book alot. It was a great story because it was very exciting. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a good read. This story is adventurous at parts and is very striking. The book had some very interesting parts like when Charlotte saw someone playing tetris on the computer but no one was there. The Ghost Sitter was a wonderful book. You should read it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2002

    The Greatest Book EVER!!!

    This awsome book is about a girl named susie who died playing with fireworks. She does not belive that she is dead. She thinks she is invisible. Her family moves out after she dies. Susie thinks Gloria, (her 5 year old sister), her mom, and her dad have just left her there. She waites for them. People call her "Sparkler Susie" because every 4th of July people see her in her old bedroom window playing with sparklers. A girl named Charlotte, Her older brother Bart, her little brother Brandon, her mom and dad move into her old house (Susie's). Her next-door-neighbor, Shannon tells her it is haunted and she don't belive her. After Charlotte is there a few days, Shannon decicdes she wants to do a s'eance in Charlotte's room. They contatact Susie. Anyway, thats just a little feed-back on the book! It is a very touchful, scary, awsome book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2002

    An Outstanding Book

    This book is about a ghost girl named Susie who died and doesn't want to believe it. She adores babysitting and only small kids and pets can see her. Susie made an important promise to her 5 year old sister, Gloria. There was a big misunderstanding in this wonder ful, touching, haunting, story. A girl named Charlotte moves into Susie's house and soon learns the true legend of Susie from her next-door neighboor Shannon. This is a truly award winning book. Thank you Peni R. Griffin!

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews

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