Ghost Trap

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Overview

In the third uproarious adventure of Wild Willie and his fellow detectives, Willie is thrilled when his old best friend, Kyle, moves back to the neighborhood. His new best friend, Lucy, is not so thrilled, and friction ensues as she and Kyle compete for Willie's attention. But all three can agree on one thing: Kyle's new house is mysterious! The previous occupant-whom they dub Loony Loraine-died in the bedroom that is now Kyle's, and strange noises and voices can be heard from a secret passageway. Is Loony ...

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Overview

In the third uproarious adventure of Wild Willie and his fellow detectives, Willie is thrilled when his old best friend, Kyle, moves back to the neighborhood. His new best friend, Lucy, is not so thrilled, and friction ensues as she and Kyle compete for Willie's attention. But all three can agree on one thing: Kyle's new house is mysterious! The previous occupant-whom they dub Loony Loraine-died in the bedroom that is now Kyle's, and strange noises and voices can be heard from a secret passageway. Is Loony Loraine haunting the premises? Wild Willie, King Kyle, and Lucky Lucy put aside their differences and hatch a plan to catch a ghost. The three young detectives work out the snags in their friendship while bringing the mystery to a successful-and hilarious-solution.

When Wild Willie's best friend Kyle moves back to the neighborhood the boys suspect that Kyle's new house is haunted.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
Willie and Lucy's friendship is almost disrupted when Willie's previous best friend, Kyle, moves back to town. The two compete for Willie's attention. Things get interesting when Kyle determines that his new house is haunted! The three must work together to trap the ghost. The mystery is fairly heavily foreshadowed, so the ending was easy to guess, but getting there was still fun. The pen and ink drawings add a dollop of humor.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4In this companion to The Losers Fight Back (1994) and Wild Willie and King Kyle, Detectives (1993, both Clarion), Willie's old friend Kyle moves back to the neighborhood from Cleveland and his new friend Lucy is jealous. Kyle's new house is a "handyman's special" where the children discover secret passages, an attic filled with junk, and a mystery. Lucy finds out that the former owner was an amateur detective and recluse who died in Kyle's room. The animosity between Kyle and Lucy escalates. Willie eventually figures out that he doesn't have to solve this problem and leaves it to his two friends to work out. Helpfully, a mysterious ghost turns up at Kyle's house. It groans, spouts lines from old movies (e.g., Scarface), and turns out to be a parrotjust the catalyst needed to reshape the formerly squared-off friends into a happy triad. Readers can no doubt look forward to another book detailing the activities of the newly formed Scarface Detective Agency. Good fun, with up-to-date dialogue, short chapters, and Truesdell's big-nosed, large-eyed, loosely limned characters.Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA
Horn Book Magazine
In Willie's third encounter with the mysterious (see also Wild Willie and King Kyle Detectives and The Losers Fight Back), he has more to contend with than the ghost in his friend Kyle's new house. When Kyle moved away, Lucy's family moved into his old house next door to Willie, and Lucy moved into the position of Willie's best friend. Now, Kyle is back in the neighborhood and wants to resume his old position. Willie, as you can see, has a problem. To make matters worse, Kyle's new house seems to be haunted. This neatly managed conundrum is a half step up from the easy reader genre and eminently accessible-at once funny and scary with expressive cartoon-style illustrations that zoom with energy. All's well in the end, as the youngsters figure out that a trio can work as well as a duo.
Kirkus Reviews
This third hilarious Wild Willie Mystery (Wild Willie and King Kyle Detectives, 1993; The Losers Fight Back, 1994) reunites Willie with Kyle, who has moved back to the neighborhood. Problems arise when Kyle meets Willie's new best friend, Lucy. Soon Willie is involved in a "Friend War" as Kyle and Lucy battle for his attention. Only the lure of a mystery waiting to be solved rescues the troubled trio from imminent disaster. Kyle has moved into the former home of now-deceased Loony Loraine Lamonde, a crime show enthusiast and hermit; strange noises convince him that the house is haunted. Joosse deftly captures the exuberance of childhood: At one point, Willie exclaims, "We were gasping. We were sweating. We were scared stiff. We were having the time of our lives." His witty commentary combined with the outlandish plot and practical resolution make this rousing tale a success. Truesdell's whimsical pen-and-ink drawings depict the humorous predicaments and add to the entertainment, right down to the dissolution of the Friend War and Lucy's declaration: "Three minds are sure better than one." (Fiction. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395665879
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/28/1998
  • Series: A Wild Willie Mystery
  • Pages: 80
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 400L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

BARBARA JOOSSE is the best-selling author of more than thirty books for children. She lives in a little stone house in Wisconsin. Visit her website at www.barbarajoosse.com.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2002

    Great Book!

    My 7 year old 2nd grader just loved this book. He got so excited with the mystery. I hadn't seen him so excited about a story in a while. It's a good story about friendship and kids helping each other. It's a good read aloud book.

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