Ghost Soldier

( 9 )

Overview

The ghost of a young soldier from the Civil War haunts a troubled teen.

"I sat up. The jagged trenches were only soft grassy depressions in the sunny battlefield park. I felt tears burn my eyes, the relief was so strong, and then the misery of losing the ghost hit me."

Alexander has the ability to see ghosts. But it’s been several years since his last encounter. When he reluctantly joins his father on a long trip away from home, a surprise ...

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New York 2001 Hardcover 1st New in new dust jacket. Never read; 2002 EDGAR AWARD NOMINEE-BEST JUVENILE MYSTERY; photograph is of copy for sale.

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Overview

The ghost of a young soldier from the Civil War haunts a troubled teen.

"I sat up. The jagged trenches were only soft grassy depressions in the sunny battlefield park. I felt tears burn my eyes, the relief was so strong, and then the misery of losing the ghost hit me."

Alexander has the ability to see ghosts. But it’s been several years since his last encounter. When he reluctantly joins his father on a long trip away from home, a surprise awaits him. In the unfamiliar territory of North Carolina, Alexander is confronted by the ghost of a young soldier who lost his life in the Civil War. As an unusual friendship develops between the two, Alexander is drawn into a new reality where he comes face to face with the haunting past of his soldier friend. But can Alexander help this troubled ghost, and can he, finally, come to terms with his own disturbing past?

With deftness and insight, Elaine Marie Alphin tells a gripping story that weaves the supernatural with the historical. Ghost story fans and Civil War buffs alike are in for a real treat.

ELAINE MARIE ALPHIN is the author of several acclaimed novels, including The Ghost Cadet and Counterfeit Son. Elaine lives in Madison, Indiana.

Alexander, in North Carolina while his father decides whether to remarry and move there, meets the ghost of a Confederate soldier and helps him look for his family.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
On a Southern road trip that Alexander doesn't want to take, he falls through a time window and into the Civil War. There he meets Richeson Chamblee, a ghost from the siege of Petersburg who desperately needs the assistance of an "out-of-timer" like him. How can Alexander find the clues to solve Rich's 19th century mystery as well as his own 21st century problems—a mother who has abandoned him, a caring father he is resentful of and the threat of an unwanted stepfamily? Sometimes the history is overly explanatory, but the battle scenes, mired in mud with exploding cannons and musket fire, are real enough to make up for it. The plot provides interesting parallels for Alexander, his potential stepsister Nicole, and the ghost of Private Chamblee, three young people all dealing with the loss of the family member they loved most. Ironically, the ghost seems more fleshed out than the "live" characters, and Nicole and Alexander's negative attitudes, although realistic, often become tiresome. It is a memorable ghost story nonetheless, and readers will enjoy the supernatural intertwining of modern problems with historical ones. 2001, Henry Holt, $16.95. Ages 9 to 13. Reviewer: Betty Hicks
VOYA
In this fantasy narrated by fifteen-year-old Alexander Raskin, the story begins at the Hambrick home in North Carolina. Alexander and his father have traveled from Indiana to spend spring break with widow Hambrick and her two children—much to Alexander's disgust. Despite his mother's desertion and his parents' divorce, Alexander believes that his family will reunite. Things worsen when he discovers that his father intends to take a job in North Carolina and marry Ms. Hambrick. On a sight-seeing tour, Alexander, who has seen ghosts before, slips into a Civil War battle and meets Confederate Richeson Francis Chamblee, a boy his age who dies before Alexander's eyes. Chamblee recognizes Alexander as an "out-of-timer" able to help him discover what happened to his beloved sister, Louise. Chamblee haunts Alexander until he agrees to assist. They begin to look for a metal box that Louise placed inside a hollow tree in 1865, finally finding the box, a locket with a picture of Chamblee's mother, and an illegible message. Alexander, now enthused, devises a way to return to the night Louise deposited the box. In a dramatic scene, Alexander rescues Louise from Yankee soldiers and deciphers the message, learning that Ms. Hambrick's close friend is really Louise's great-granddaughter. Alexander is reconciled with his father, and the book ends with a happily blended family. Simple vocabulary, sentence structure, and plot make this time travel story suitable for upper elementary and middle school. Although some elements, such as transitions between times and characteristics of ghosts, are handled maladroitly, the book will entertain younger readers and will give some insight into the AmericanCivil War. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P M J (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 200l, Henry Holt, 216p, $16.95. Ages 12 to 15. Reviewer: Laura Woodruff SOURCE: VOYA, August 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 3)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-Alexander Raskin is a special boy, which is why he sometimes sees ghosts from events long past. At least, that's what his free-spirited mother told him, before she left three years earlier to follow her inner drummer. Alexander hasn't seen ghosts for a long time, nor felt special, either. Least of all when he and his dad drive from Indiana to North Carolina for a visit with his father's girlfriend, Paige Hambrick, and her two children. Alexander is upset to learn that these strangers may become his stepfamily, and it's cold comfort that the oldest Hambrick kid seems equally unenthusiastic about the idea. By the time the group visits a Civil War battle site, Alexander's emotions are in turmoil, his supernatural ability suddenly reappears, and he falls into a "window through time." As if he didn't have troubles enough, he finds himself constantly accompanied by the ghost of a Confederate soldier who needs help finding out what became of his family after the war if he is ever to rest in peace. Reluctantly, Alexander agrees, and with unexpected help from the Hambricks, embarks on an adventure seeking answers to mysteries more than 100 years old. The story is an entertaining blend of paranormal, historical, and family themes, with a well-crafted plot that ties up all loose ends in a satisfying conclusion.-Starr E. Smith, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The ghost of a young Confederate soldier plays therapist to an angry 21st-century teen. It's been three years since his mother walked out on him and his father, but 13-year-old Alexander still hopes for her return—and blames his father bitterly for her departure. So when his father packs the two of them up for a weeklong vacation in North Carolina to visit an attractive widow he met at a conference, Alexander moves into high resentment gear, especially when he meets her dinosaur-loving son and equally resentful older daughter. The only thing that distracts him from his anger is the ghost he meets while touring a Civil War battlefield. The long-dead Rich's obsession concerns his sister: did she make it to safety before General Sherman's troops overran the family farm? Through Rich, Alexander learns a bit about history (this history dwells on the undeniable valor of the Southern troops and the brutality of their Northern opponents, but skims very lightly over the slavery issue) and a little more about family dynamics: "Your mother left for her own reasons, not because of you." While it's a little unclear how this dead 19th-century teenager could have such a firm grasp of soothing 21st-century bromides, it is certain that over the course of their search for evidence of Rich's sister's survival, Alexander learns to accept his mother's departure and his father's desire to move on. Alphin (Counterfeit Son, 2000, etc.) handles the moments when Alexander moves into the ghostly world with flair and atmosphere, but the outcomes of both Rich's quest and Alexander's inward journey are entirely predictable. A serviceable but not essential offering. (Fiction. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805061581
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 8/28/2001
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 10 - 15 Years
  • Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.77 (w) x 8.55 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Elaine Marie Alphin is the author of several acclaimed novels, including The Ghost Cadet and Counterfeit Son. Elaine lives in Madison, Indiana.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 12, 2011

    Thrilling adventure

    This is about a boy who¿s name is Alexander! His parents are split up and his dad and he are moving to an old battleground! Alex see¿s a ghost. The ghost want him to help find something.This book is full of adventures! They travel to multiple places.I recommend this book to all people!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2007

    A Real Page Turner!

    This is the first book I have read to my 8 year old son, without pictures, that has held his interest. It's a great way to give a little history lesson, and story time. Mrs. Alphin is an extremely talented author!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2008

    Helping a Ghost That Only You Can See

    Alexander is a troubled teenager who lives with his dad in Indiana. His mom left him and he still thinks she will come back. His dad is computer programmer who is in love with a lady from North Carolina. They go down there for what is suppose to be just a visit. Her husband had died, but she had a son and daughter. Alexander wants to go back to Indiana. He always thought he saw ghosts as a kid, and when they go to Petersburg, an old civil war battle field, he sees the reenactment of the battle but, everyone is a ghost. But one of the ghosts can see Alexander and stays with him. His name is Richeson Francis Chamblee. He won¿t leave Alexander alone until he helps him find out what happened to his family because he died during the battle of Petersburg and doesn¿t know what happened to his family. So the two, Alexander and the ghost Richeson, go on a crazy search party that leads them across the state of North Carolina while his dad finds a now job and plans on staying in North Carolina. Alexander is left with problems in front of him. I liked how the book was told, which was from Alexander¿s point of view because the story is about him. It started out really slow but picked up once they got to Petersburg. Unfortunately, I can¿t relate this book to any other because it is very unique.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2007

    A Not That Great Ghost Book

    This was a book about a boy that had to go with his dad to meet his dad¿s girlfriend, and ends up meeting a ghost while he is in North Carolina. The boy¿s name is Alexander and he meets a ghost soldier from the Civil War. Throughout the book, Alexander tries to help the ghost find out what happened to his family after he was killed. This search for the ghost¿s family leads the two back in time and all across the state researching and trying to find clues that might help the soldier figure out whether his family made it through the war alive or not. I thought the book had a good storyline with an interesting topic that I¿ve never seen before. I didn¿t like that the book drug on and on with the same things being written, and that it really didn¿t ever seem to pick up or take off for me. This book is not a part of a series as far as I¿m sure of but it could be read separate anyway. I would recommend this book for anybody that likes ghost stories that aren¿t scary and books that drag on and on. I didn¿t see this book relating to any other authors type of writing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2007

    I Recommend This Book

    Imagine if you could see ghost. This is what 13 year old Alexander Raskin could do. Alex is on vacation in North Carolina, when he went to a Civil War battlefield and was teleported back into time. Alex is on a mission to help his new found ghost friend Rich find out what happend to his family after he died. I recommend this book to anyone who likes history or The Civil War. The book is a interesting read because its not to short or to long.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2004

    The best book yet.

    I thought this book taught me alot about the Civil War and the hardships were like. I loved this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2004

    best book ever

    it was one of the best books i ever read and i recomend it to everyone who likes mistorys ,the cival war,and mostly every one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2003

    outstanding ghost story

    this story was amazing and mysterious! It will make your imagination go wild. I recommend this book for anyone who likes mysteries and spooky stories

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2000

    The Best Book Ever!

    Read the Ghost Cadet, by Elaine Marie Alphin. Its the best book in the world. There is a ghost cadet who is looking for something and Benjamin Stark helps him look for it. They dig where the cadet thinks he left it just seconds after he was shot in the war between the states (civil war). Benjy is the only one who can see the ghost so he's helping him. At mid-night benjy sneacks out his window and meets his dead friend in the battlefield. im not going to tell you if they found the thing or what the thing is, so read the book Ghost Cadet, by Elaine Marie Alphin.

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