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Ghosts of the White House

Overview

Join Sara On A Magical Tour Of The White House
The ghost of George Washington steps out of his White House portrait to introduce Sara — and the reader — to the ghosts of thirty-five other presidents. Brief biographies of all the presidents, loads of fascinating trivia, and a time line round out this unique history of the presidency.

George Washington's ghost pulls a girl out of her school White House tour and takes her on a ...

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Overview

Join Sara On A Magical Tour Of The White House
The ghost of George Washington steps out of his White House portrait to introduce Sara — and the reader — to the ghosts of thirty-five other presidents. Brief biographies of all the presidents, loads of fascinating trivia, and a time line round out this unique history of the presidency.

George Washington's ghost pulls a girl out of her school White House tour and takes her on a personal tour of the building, introducing her to the ghosts of previous presidents and to the history of the White House and of the United States.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Harness Three Young Pilgrims; The Amazing Impossible Erie Canal again takes an edifying look back at American history through a fictional lens. Here her angle is almost too whimsical: a girl tours the White House on a class field trip, and George Washington pulls her into his portrait, offering to be her guide through the mansion. Each room then becomes a stage set on which various presidential "ghosts" share anecdotal information about their lives and administrations; sidebars succinctly present highlights of the former presidents' reigns. Readers more comfortable with neatly ordered, chronological history lessons may be at sea here, since Harness's fanciful presentation has presidents who lived in different eras hobnobbing and conversing, and occasionally it's quite a challenge to discern the identity of the speakers. Though the author sometimes links the chief executives by tenuous themestheir backgrounds, roles in wars, events that occurred in specific White House rooms Fillmore, who opened Japan, and Nixon, who opened China, stand united in the China Roomat other times her groupings seem random and the remarks of the historical figures inane "Well, Sara, I'm mighty glad the General plucked you out for the grand tour," says Lincoln. More recent presidents get short shrift the last five are set in a box on the last page. Still, there is plenty of fun trivia here about the White House e.g., it has 32 bathrooms; Washington's pal, the Marquis de Lafayette, kept his pet alligator in the East Room and a timeline helps readers make sense of the mishmash of presidents. Ages 7-10. Jan.
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
We're not talking ghosts here in the usual sense. Instead, writer/illustrator Harness takes a school group on a Magic Bus-like tour of the White House. When George Washington invites young Sara into his portrait, she gets to see lots of backstage (and upstairs) stuff. As Sara meets the shades of presidents past she also learns about American history.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6Sara is excited about going on a field trip to the White House. Once there, she is unexpectedly pulled "Magic Schoolbus" fashion into a portrait of George Washington and given a grand tour by Mr. Washington himself. As they move from room to room, Sara meets the ghosts of the men who made this very special house famous. The approach is neither chronological nor alphabetical. Instead, each room is associated with a few presidents. Readers will find Ulysses S. Grant and Dwight D. Eisenhower in "The Map Room" briefly discussing D day while Millard Fillmore and Richard Nixon discuss their similarities in "The China Room." Numerous speech balloons are full of little-known facts and imagined opinions. For example, Harry Truman tells Sara about the deteriorated state of the White House in 1945 while exclaiming that the current need to check visitors with metal detectors "makes me mad!" Sidebars contain additional facts including dates of birth and death, nicknames, and term dates. An illustrated time line and an explanation of the office of the president is included, and the five still-living presidents are given brief treatment on a separate page. While the detailed watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations and the curious tidbits of information make this volume a potentially appealing browsing item, be aware that its lack of traditional organization and presentation of opinion as fact hinder its use as a source of reliable information.Alicia Eames, New York City Public Schools
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689848926
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 434,750
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Cheryl Harness is an author-illustrator, speaker, sometime sculptor, and harmonica player. She has created many acclaimed historical picture books, including Ghosts of the Civil War, Ghosts of the White House, Ghosts of the 20th Century, Mark Twain and the Queens of the Mississippi, and Three Young Pilgrims. She lives in Independence, Missouri, with her Scottie, Maude, and her cats, Irene and Merrie Emma.

Cheryl Harness is an author-illustrator, speaker, sometime sculptor, and harmonica player. She has created many acclaimed historical picture books, including Ghosts of the Civil War, Ghosts of the White House, Ghosts of the 20th Century, Mark Twain and the Queens of the Mississippi, and Three Young Pilgrims. She lives in Independence, Missouri, with her Scottie, Maude, and her cats, Irene and Merrie Emma.

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