Gilda Joyce: The Ghost Sonata

Gilda Joyce: The Ghost Sonata

4.6 35
by Jennifer Allison
     
 

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Gilda Joyce's best friend, Wendy Choy, is chosen to participate in a piano competition in Oxford, England, so of course super-sleuth Gilda finds a way to go too. Once there, the grueling practice schedule takes a backseat to strange and spooky occurrences. There are foreboding tarot cards that keep appearing to the participants and ominous numbers etched in frosty

Overview

Gilda Joyce's best friend, Wendy Choy, is chosen to participate in a piano competition in Oxford, England, so of course super-sleuth Gilda finds a way to go too. Once there, the grueling practice schedule takes a backseat to strange and spooky occurrences. There are foreboding tarot cards that keep appearing to the participants and ominous numbers etched in frosty windowpanes. But even more chilling are Wendy's ghostly nightmares of a young boy-and the haunting melody she can't shake out of her mind. Could there be a sinister connection to the piano competition? Gilda has a genuine haunting on her hands, and solving this one will take every ounce of psychic intuition she's got!

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Kathie Fitch
Psychic investigator Gilda Joyce is determined to accompany her best friend, Wendy Choy, to England where she has been invited to participate in The Young International Virtuosos piano competition. Gilda jumps at the chance to be Wendy's page turner. Off they go to Oxford with teacher Mrs. Mendelovich and two other piano students. Before boarding the airplane, Gilda does a tarot card reading for Wendy to calm her down, but unfortunately all the cards are ominous. They show the number nine and death. Upon landing in England, they hurry to Wyntle House, a Victorian guesthouse that does not even have a piano. Wendy is horrified to find that her room is number nine. She cannot sleep, hears a piano playing, and even finds the number nine etched in the frost on her window. Gilda begins her high-powered investigation and discovers that a ghost is haunting not only her best friend but the entire competition. The ghost leads them to the grave of Charles Drummond, a young protTgT who died when he was only fourteen. Why has Charles chosen Wendy to haunt and what does he want her to do to let him rest in peace? Gilda is a spunky, quirky, very likeable young lady with a sense of humor if not a great sense of fashion. There are several interesting threads in this novel that are not as fully developed as they could be and some unsatisfactory endings, but overall it is a lighthearted, comic romp of a mystery, a genre often neglected in middle school fiction. This third title in the Gilda Joyce series stands alone, but prior knowledge of Gilda and her psychic powers would be helpful.
Kirkus Reviews
Irrepressible Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator, is at it again. This time it's across the pond in Oxford, England. Gilda manages to wangle a position as a page-turner for her best friend, Wendy Choy, who has been selected to compete in an international piano competition. Wendy's chilling nightmares combined with a variety of otherworldly happenings force Gilda to take a case once again. Donning her cat-eye sunglasses and her various outfits selected especially for her English holiday, Gilda finds herself combing the streets of London, looking for what is behind the genuine haunting. Gilda is determined to stay focused, but the cute English boys make it difficult. Allison's endearingly odd heroine will once again capture readers' affections while the mystery will keep the pages turning and the midnight oil burning. Offbeat and spine-chilling. (Fiction. 10-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142412329
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
10/30/2008
Series:
Gilda Joyce Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
421,909
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 6.88(h) x 0.99(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

I grew up in a small town in Michigan where there wasn’t much for kids to do for fun except ride a bike down a dirt road to the local Dairy Queen, or better yet, to the public library. My two younger brothers and I didn’t have easy access to a swimming pool, movie theater or cable television, but we did have open fields, woods, marshland, old barns, and half-built houses to explore – places that really sparked our imaginations. One of my best friends lived on a sheep farm, and we used to conduct séances in the spooky atmosphere of the barn hayloft near her house (the memory of some of those activities may have influenced Gilda’s fascination with parapsychology and the occult in Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator). I spent long, humid summers reading every book our wonderful local librarian recommended: she had a talent for handing any young person a perfectly selected story.

Throughout junior high and high school, I spent a great deal of time playing the piano (I was one of those odd kids who actually liked piano lessons), and after competing in numerous music competitions, I attended the University of Michigan on a music scholarship. Literature won out over music, however, and I switched my major to English after my freshman year.

After completing a B.A. in English, I edited reference books for an educational publishing company in Detroit for several years, after which I returned to school to complete an M.F.A. in creative writing at American University (Washington, D.C.). After graduate school, I moved to England to work as a healthcare news journalist; I lived in Oxford for about two years, then moved to London to write for an online educational publication. The opportunity to travel and live in a variety of settings certainly furthered my development as a writer. I’ve also held numerous “odd jobs” — piano player in a shopping mall, assembly line worker for General Motors, waitress, preschool teacher — that have helped generate numerous ideas for characters and situations to explore in fiction.

The idea for the story of Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator first emerged while I was living in San Francisco and had recently been laid off from a “dot com” editorial position. With quite a bit of extra time on my hands, I found myself wandering into a store that sold antique typewriters, and walked out with the idea of an eccentric girl who’s fiercely attached to a “magic” typewriter (or a typewriter that she wishes were magic). I knew right away that this typewriter would represent the loss of someone very close – most likely a parent. As the story evolved and I got to know Gilda’s buoyant, life-affirming character, I realized that I wanted to write a story like the ones that had most moved me in my youth – a book that made me laugh while also addressing the reality of grief and loss as a part of life. I was also interested in a theory that people who lose a parent at a young age are sometimes more “driven” and willing to take risks than those who have the security of two parents (while others may respond in a nihilistic sense, by assuming that there’s no point in making a big effort in life since they, too, may die young). In a sense, Gilda and Juliet initially evolved as representations of these two very opposite responses to coping with death.

In the second book in the series, Gilda Joyce and the Ladies of the Lake, I drew upon my experience teaching English literature and creative writing at a Catholic girls’ school. In this novel, Gilda reluctantly agrees to attend an elite private school on scholarship. It isn’t long before she finds herself in the role of investigative reporter for the school newspaper, immersed in a mystery surrounding the drowning death of a student.

While there’s certainly much of myself in Gilda’s character, the Gilda Joyce novels are completely fictional stories. I often conduct research as part of my writing process—reading books about psychic techniques, interviewing people, visiting neighborhoods or buildings that serve as models for setting. Aspects of my own life inevitably find their way into the novels—childhood memories, places I’ve lived, knowledge from work experiences, character quirks loosely based on friends, relatives, and acquaintances.

In addition to developing my own craft, I enjoy visiting schools and conducting workshops designed to inspire reading and creative writing in young people. I live in Maryland, near Washington, DC with my husband Michael and three children—Max and the twins, Marcus and Genevieve.

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XXGilda Joyce The Ghost Sonata 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THIS BOOK IS AWESOME... I LOVE IT!
tennisgirlsc More than 1 year ago
If you like mysteries, England, and piano competitions then this book is for you. Another entertaining and humorous mystery in the Gilda Joyce series. A must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow these are the gfirst editorials ive seen on a nook book in *forever*! Loved book anyway... my fav in the seris.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best one of the series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I still do. This is probably my favorite in the series because it involves piano! I play the piano! Also, make sure you read the first one first!!!!!!! I highly reccomend this book to the slightly natured reader. (Pre-teen, early teen) Also, if you are looking for a boy book, you are in the wrong place!
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Harper Wilamoski More than 1 year ago
I love the gilda joyce books! Gilda is a lovable, quirky main character. I am disappointed that the nook store doesn't have the first two books, ' psychic investigator' and 'the ladies of the lake.' A must read for fans of moody atmospheres, funny charactets, and cats-eye sunglasses.
Gwendolyn Kinne More than 1 year ago
the series is wonderfully amazing i advise that every girl between the age of 11 to 14 should read these books!!!!!!!
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A_Thomas More than 1 year ago
While I was reading all about Gilda and Wendy's adventures while in England, I felt like I was actually Gilda Joyce. I felt like Jennifer Allison made me a part of the story, it was written in Gilda's perspective. It made it easier for me to feel how Gilda felt in times of sadness, happiness, and even in the scarce times that she was scared. I think Jennifer Allison did a terrific job writing this. I hope to read her many other great stories that follow. I give this book two thumbs up!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
amazing Gilda Joyce is da master ^^