Ghost Story

Overview

ACT I
Jonathan:
There's a ghost in my room. I talk to it at night when I can't sleep. But I get blamed for everything it does.

Celeste:
I am a famous singer. When my Uncle Pete visits us, I will perform ...

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Overview

ACT I
Jonathan:
There's a ghost in my room. I talk to it at night when I can't sleep. But I get blamed for everything it does.

Celeste:
I am a famous singer. When my Uncle Pete visits us, I will perform for him. My brother is jealous. He's always talking about some old ghost.

Uncle Pete:
Ghosts can be trouble. I know all about them. It's lucky I'm here.

ACT II
???????

When Uncle Pete comes to visit, he listens to Celeste's singing and helps Jonathan get rid of the ghost that's been causing so much trouble.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Jonathan is a young boy with a bit of a problem. He has a ghost living in his house. What makes things worse is that he is the only one who knows it exists. Sometimes the ghost keeps Jonathan company when he can't fall asleep. Other times, it gets cranky and shakes his bed and does mischievous things like turning his lights on and off and getting him into trouble. Nobody believes Jonathan when he tries to explain that a ghost is doing all of these terrible things and even his sister, Celeste, thinks he's crazy. It is only when their Uncle Pete comes for a visit that Jonathan's problem is solved. Finally, someone believes him. Not only that, but Uncle Pete knows a bit about ghosts himself and helps Jonathan set the ghost free, also freeing Jonathan from the ghost's mischief. The story moves along slowly and awkwardly and may frighten some children since the author uses photographs to illustrate, making it seem more realistic. Overall, it is not something I would recommend for younger children and older children might not find it riveting enough to stay engaged. 2001, South China Printing Company, $15.95. Ages 7 to 9. Reviewer:Emily Cook
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Stunning full-color photographs of an African-American family fail to make up for a weak story. The tale is told first from Jonathan's point of view-he believes there is a ghost in his room that knocks his books off the shelves and throws his basketball in the fish tank. Then his sister, Celeste, chimes in, describing how she loves to sing and how her jealous brother is imagining a crazy ghost. They both are anxiously awaiting their uncle's visit. The relative arrives and readers see photos that depict his life out West. Then he listens to Celeste sing and helps Jonathan catch his ghost with a sheet, throwing it out the window. The clear photographs with intriguing shadows capture flying objects and tell the story of a very caring family. It is touching how Uncle Pete pays attention to both children. However, the story is disjointed and lacks cohesion. Readers are left confused and unsatisfied- does the ghost really exist? Turn to Crews's more successful photo-essays, such as Snowball (1997) and You Are Here (1998, both Greenwillow), for a better appreciation of her art.-Anne Knickerbocker, Cedar Brook Elementary School, Houston, TX Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This unusual story uses multiple first-person narrators and photographs of a real family to tell the story of Jonathan, an African-American boy who is bothered by a ghost who has taken up residence in the family home, though only Jonathan can see him. Jonathan's family blames him for the mysterious flying toys and books and unexplained noises. The ghost is a mischievous poltergeist type, represented in the photographs by a shadowy gray stick figure shadow floating in the air. The story is divided into short chapters printed on different colors for the different narrators, who also include Jonathan's younger sister, a budding jazz singer, and his beloved uncle Pete, visiting from his ranch home out west. Pete doesn't admit that he sees the ghost, but he helps Jonathan corral it in a blanket and together they toss the ghost out the window. Most children and some adult readers will take the story literally, but others of a more psychoanalytical bent will attribute the ghostly apparitions to Jonathan's need for more of the attention that his talented little sister demands. There is no one definitive way to interpret the story, and different interpretations of the plot and the author's intent could spark some interesting discussions with older children, especially with those learning about point of view. (Picture book. 5-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688176730
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 5 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.24 (w) x 10.32 (h) x 0.38 (d)

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