Jade Green: A Ghost Story

( 106 )

Overview

Secrets
Orphaned fifteen-year-old Judith Sparrow brings two secrets to her uncle's house in South Carolina: one, that her grief-stricken mother died in a madhouse, the other that she has disobeyed the only condition to living in her uncle's home — nothing green is allowed in the house.
Judith can't bear to part with the photograph of her mother in its lovely green silk frame. Surely this one small defiance will not jeopardize the happiness she ...

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Overview

Secrets
Orphaned fifteen-year-old Judith Sparrow brings two secrets to her uncle's house in South Carolina: one, that her grief-stricken mother died in a madhouse, the other that she has disobeyed the only condition to living in her uncle's home — nothing green is allowed in the house.
Judith can't bear to part with the photograph of her mother in its lovely green silk frame. Surely this one small defiance will not jeopardize the happiness she finds in South Carolina — with a family at last, and new friends, especially Zeke Carey, the miller's son.
But Uncle Geoffrey's house holds a secret of its own. And Judith's small picture frame, hidden away at the bottom of her trunk, unleashes a powerful force that seems determined to bring that secret into the open. Or is Judith simply following her mother down the path toward madness?

While living with her uncle in a house haunted by the ghost of a young woman, recently orphaned Judith Sparrow wonders if her one small transgression causes mysterious happenings.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Judith Sparrow, 15, finds herself alone in the world after her mother passes away. Her father died some time before, and she has no other immediate family. When her Uncle Geoffrey offers to take her in, she gladly travels from Ohio to Whispers, South Carolina (near Charleston) to live with him. Judith is invited to stay as long as she wishes, provided that she helps Emma Hastings, the housekeeper and cook, around the house and, most importantly, that she doesn't bring anything with the color green into the house. Judith finds the latter request somewhat peculiar but, under the circumstances, she agrees.

Before she begins her journey, Judith discards several green articles of clothing. But she cannot bear to part with a photo of her dead mother in a green frame. She can't imagine that her tiny green frame will bother her uncle, so she stashes it deep within her trunk. With fantasies of a future friendship with her cousin Charles in mind, she sets off for South Carolina.

Upon arrival, Judith finds Whispers a little eerie and her uncle hard to crack. Cousin Charles turns out to be nowhere near her age -- closer to 40 years old, actually -- and far from pleasant. Mrs. Hastings, on the other hand, is a warm, welcoming presence. There is indeed no green in the house, but Judith's room is to her liking. She settles in. Her uncle allows her to take a job, and she is glad of the opportunity to make some money and some friends. Judith works in a bonnet store, and it is there that she begins to hear rumors about her uncle's house. There was a young girl who lived in the house before Judith, also an orphan. Her name was Jade Green, and green was her favorite color. The accounts of Jade vary, but one thing is for sure: Jade Green died in the house where Judith now lives.

Judith's life flourishes in this odd environment. She even falls a little bit in love with Zeke, the boy who delivers flour to her spooky old house. He waits for her after work and drives her home in his carriage. But her nights are sheer terror. There is constant scratching and noise at night, and it isn't coming from mice, as she first suspected. Judith feels the house is haunted. She worries constantly that she is going mad. But mainly she worries that by bringing that green frame into the house, she has woken the ghost of Jade Green.

The delightful Jade Green is set in the late 1800s. Author Phyllis Reynolds Naylor has written more than 100 books for children, including the Alice series and the Shiloh trilogy. She won the 1992 Newbery Medal for Shiloh. In Jade Green she has produced another quaint and quick read.

Naylor does a great job with the ghost story, creating fun supernatural occurrences throughout the book. But she doesn't allow these somewhat gimmicky moments to dominate her plot, which makes Jade Green that much more enjoyable. A walking hand may happen to appear every few chapters, but in between those appearances there is a full dose of gossip, destruction, love stories, family secrets, and budding friendships.

There is a fair amount of suspense as the story of Jade's untimely death unfolds; this is a ghost story, after all. But it isn't very anxiety-provoking. Readers can expect a nice thrill that won't result in ten bitten fingernails.

—Alexandra Zissu

VOYA
When Judith Sparrow is orphaned after her mother dies in an insane asylum, her Uncle Geoffrey and his cook, Emma Hastings, welcome her into his home with only one conditionshe must not bring anything green with her. Judith cannot resist keeping her mother's picture in its green silk frame. Surely it will do no harm hidden at the bottom of her trunk. Fortyyear-old cousin Charles's welcome is less than pleasant. His inappropriate stares and improper touches make Judith quite uncomfortable. As Judith settles in, she begins to hear strange noises coming from the closet. The green frame has become the stimulus that awakens the ghost of Jade Green, a young girl who supposedly committed suicide by chopping off her hand with a cleaver. To her horror, Judith sees Jade's disembodied hand playing the piano, crawling under her bed, and making its way down the door frame. Judith keeps these strange, ghostly happenings to herself. What does Jade want? Is Judith going mad as her mother did? Or could it be that Jade's death was not what it seemed? Nearly too late, Judith learns that the hand is there to protect her, not harm her. This genuinely creepy tale will spring off the shelf like Jade's hand, although characterization is not strong and there are a few details that seem out of place in the 1800s setting. One wonders if a wealthy, prominent, southern businessman such as Uncle Geoffrey would tolerate his niece working in a hat shop or being courted by the miller's son. When taken out of context, some sexual incidents might seem inappropriate for the publisher's designated age range but contribute to the novel as a whole. The occasional references to Judith's own budding sexuality, however, failtocontribute to the overall plot or the development of her character. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2000, Atheneum/S & S, Ages 12 to 15, 168p, $16. Reviewer: Kathleen Beck and Mary Ann Capan
KLIATT
Naylor, the award-winning author of over 100 books for children and young adults, has penned another winner in this fast-paced spellbinder. Fifteen-year-old orphan Judith Sparrow moves in with Uncle Geoffrey, Cousin Charles, and Mrs. Hastings. Through town gossip, Judith learns the story of Jade Green, the girl who lived in the Sparrow house until she committed suicide with a meat cleaver. Judith begins seeing Jade Green's white-gloved hand playing the piano, scurrying across the floor, and chopping gashes into the cutting board with a cleaver. Though scared of the hand, Judith becomes more afraid of the leering Cousin Charles. During the climax, a hurricane, Charles attempts to rape and kill Judith and admits to killing Jade Green. Jade Green's hand comes to the rescue, choking Charles to death and disappearing forever into the storm's swirling pools of water. This riveting story is a well written and age-appropriate quick read that would appeal to reluctant readers as well. Judith will win the reader's heart in this first-person account of how she works to fit into an odd family, experiences first love, and learns that the living can be as dangerous as the dead. Recommended for YA collections in both school and public libraries. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 1999, Simon & Schuster, Aladdin, 169p., $4.99. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Kim Harris; YA Libn., Newman Riga Lib., Churchville, NY , September 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 5)
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Taken into her uncle's home upon her mother's death, Judith is grateful but unnerved when she is told that she can bring her possessions with one exception--"no green." Surely this can not apply to the photography of her mother, set in a green velvet frame. Hiding it in the bottom of her trunk, she adjusts well to her new surroundings almost forgetting about her one transgression until mysterious things happen. Who has been riffling through her trunk? Could it have been her cousin Charles whose behavior is either friendly or sinister? Or could it have been Mrs. Hastings, the friendly housekeeper? Or is there another presence in the house? Phyllis Reynolds Naylor has written a suspenseful and haunting tale in Jade Green. 1999, Atheneum, Ages 11 to 14, $16.00. Reviewer: Jan Lieberman
Midwest Book Review
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Jade Green provides an outstanding ghost story as it tells of Judith, a new orphan who awakens a ghost in her new home with her uncle. A creeping hand and a dangerous secret affect her newfound home and threaten her in this excellent story of suspense.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689820021
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 6/1/2001
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 401,749
  • Age range: 12 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.19 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor has written more than 135 books, including the Newbery Award–winning Shiloh and the Alice series. She lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland. To hear from Phyllis and find out more about Alice, visit AliceMcKinley.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 106 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 106 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 23, 2010

    A Grasp on the Past

    Jade Green is about a young fifteen year old girl named Judith Sparrow who goes to live with her Uncle Geoffrey and Cousin Charles after her mother's death in a madhouse. Her wealthy uncle and cousin are the only family she has left. But as Judith settles into her new home, she discovers an awful secret about a girl named Jade Green who was adopted by her uncle. Judith also discovers horrid secrets about her Cousin Charles, and how the two secrets, even Judith's own secret, come together in a murderous mystery and a haunting hand. Is Judith really being haunted by a hand because of her secret? Or is she following her mother's footsteps into insanity? I think this is an amazing book. Phyllis Naylor did an excellent job creating a thrilling plot. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a book with love, murder, hauntings, and dirty secrets.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2010

    Jade Green

    The book Jade Green was an interesting book. The story was interesting I guess and kind of thrilling but not really. I didn't think book was that great though; the writing was not very good. The author explained the characters very well. Because the author explained the characters the way she did I realized that Charles was a very creepy, scary person. The story line was very predictable; I knew from the beginning that Charles was going to end up being the bad guy. Throughout the whole book he is always following Jade around and basically stalking her. If she was going to hang out with her love interest he would somehow end up being there; it was so very creeper-like. He didn't become extremely creepy until he tried to kiss her. After that she realized something was wrong. This book was good at some parts but not very good at others. During some parts I was actually scared but most of the book wasn't very thrilling. I think the book would have been better if there had been more action throughout the book. The good parts that kept me wanting to keep reading happened in the last like 2 chapters, if even that much. The ending came very suddenly and didn't last long. This book overall was not my favorite but not the worst book I have ever read. CSB!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2009

    Jade Green a ghost story

    Fifteen-year-old Judith Sparrow has been orphaned by her parents, leaving her with no choice but to move into her Uncle Geoffrey's house in South Carolina. The only thing is Judith is not allowed to bring anything green into the house. Still, Judith refuses to get rid of the picture of her mother in the beautiful green picture frame.
    Then lots of strange things happen to her. First, it starts out with noises in her closet, but but then it gets even worse. A body less hand and a ghost that takes over the photograph of her mother. Judith finds out that a girl named Jade Green had killed herself in that house by cutting off her own hand. Supposedly, she'd been taken there to live as well and her favorite color was green. Thats why nothing green was allowed in the house.
    I thought this was a really great book! I sat up all night reading it because i couldn't put it down. But i also kept hearing a "hand" running around my room. I really don't recommend this book to younger kids. Even though it is an easy read. It also has a few sexual references. I personally love to watch scary movie. But i don't read alot of horror books. But i really liked this book! Its very thrilling and has constant plot twists!
    -SAM

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2009

    Jade Green

    Jade Green is a ghost story. This book is great for teenagers that want to read a good ghost story. The author wrote this book mainly to entertain. For me, this book was well written and had a nice little story to it. It didn't turn out how I thought it would, but that is a good thing.
    This book takes place in the early 1900's. In Jade Green, an orphan girl, Judith, moves to a small town in South Carolina to live with her uncle. But, she has one particular rule: she cannot bring anything green with her. Soon she finds out that there is a secret that her uncle is keeping from her about something that lurks in the house. Along the way to uncovering the secret, she finds friendships and a relationship. Judith also discovers the truth is sometimes right in front of you.
    One thing that surprised me is the setting. The setting in Jade Green is not what I expected it to be. I thought it was going to be about modern times, but it actually takes place in the early 1900's near a beach. This helped the story in keeping the reader's attention.
    I really enjoyed reading this book. I thought it was entertaining from the beginning. In this story there are a lot of surprises. Jade Green is a ghost story that takes place in the early 1900's. This is a story of fiction. It will grab the reader's attention from the very start.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    march 20, 2009

    This book is incredible!!! I never wanted to put it down! I usually dont read books like this ,but it was just amazing! The only thing I didn't like was Cousin Charles.....He creeped me out!! But other than that, great book!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    I am a sixth grade student from Glendale, AZ. I think Jade Green is a fantastic book for anyone to read

    Judith Sparrow is a brave, orphaned 15 year old girl who owns nothing but her  clothes and a beloved picture of her deceased mother who died in an asylum in it's lovely, velvety green backdrop. Her only family is her Uncle Geoffrey and her cousin Charles who is 25 years older than her.        <BR/> Judith was sent to her Uncle's house in South Carolina. However, she was strictly forbidden to bring anything green into the house. Miss Sparrow obeyed her Uncle's rule, besides one exception. She couldn't bear to leave the only reminder of her mother she owned. All was well until Judith begins experiencing unnerving events that are starting to happen in the house; like the famous Jade Green's severed hand creeping around inside her closet.   <BR/><BR/>   This magnificently grasping story takes place in South Carolina by the Atlantic Ocean during the middle 1800s.    <BR/><BR/>  The theme or morale as some may call it, of this story is that you should do as you're told, or else there may be a consequence.  <BR/><BR/>   I enjoyed reading this book for many reasons. It was really exciting and kept me reading. Jade Green wasn't the slightest bit boring or dull in any way. This is one of my favorite books of all time, right up there with the Harry Potter series.<BR/><BR/>      I can connect with this book because I've heard something in my closet before, but in the morning it turned out just to be my dog. I can also relate to this book to Wait Till Helen Comes, which is another ghost story I enjoyed a lot.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2008

    A good scary book

    When i first saw this book i thought i might just give it a try. i thought it turned out to be pretty good. I also like to scare myself. I would recomend this book to anyone who likes scary stories! Like me!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2013

    I've never read a short halloween story that has scared me befor

    I've never read a short halloween story that has scared me before.  Jade Green is the best scary story I've read in my entire life! My favorite thing about it is the way Naylor keeps making the ghost hauntings in the story more and more intense.
    This book was recommended by one of my friend's parents which is a librarian. I would definitely recommend it to anyone that wants a SPOOK - tastic Halloween story for the entire family to enjoy!  This a great starter for getting ready for HALLOWEEN!

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  • Posted September 16, 2012

    Has a little bit of everything!

    Jade Green a Ghost Story by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor takes place in the 19th century. This novel is about a newly orphaned girl, named Judith Sparrow. Judith is fifteen years old and recently lost her mother. Her mother died in a madhouse. She went crazy after her husband died four years ago, and right when that occurred, had a stillborn child as well. So Judith was left on her own with no money and nowhere to live. So her dad’s brother offered to let her live with him. His name was Uncle Geoffrey. Judith moved from Ohio to Whispers, South Carolina. However Uncle Geoffrey had two conditions, in order for Judith to move in with him. The first condition was to help Mrs. Hastings, who is the maid and cook. The second condition is for Judith to not bring anything that is the color green into his house. Judith gets rid of all green possessions except for one, a picture of her mother in a green silk frame. She cannot get rid of the one picture of her mother, so she hides it in a trunk all the way in the bottom. Yet then weird things start happening to Judith, in Uncle Geoffrey’s house. This book has a lot of mystery in it, like why Judith can’t bring the color green into the house, and what is scratching at her closet at night. So throughout the story Judith is solving the mystery about Uncle Geoffrey, and his ways. Along the way in the book some romance happens as well, with Judith and a boy named Zeke. They start becoming really close, and this is where Judith starts getting some of her information on what exactly happened in the house she is living in. This book has many foreshadowing moments in it. Some more obvious than others, so you sometimes know what was going to happen before it actually did. This is why this novel deserves a four out of five stars, because it gave away to much information before it should have been. The whole book in general, however was very interesting. It had mystery, and romance, which was an amazing mix. It’s a extremely enjoyable book to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2012

    Great Book

    This book is really wonderful: full of suspense and surprises. It's a great read.

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  • Posted December 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    read it!

    This ghost story was okay not the best, of course that¿s what I think. This story is about a orphaned girl named Judith, she had to move in with her uncle Geoffrey¿s house in South Carolina because Judith¿s mother had passed away and she had no where to live. One of the rules for her to live in her uncle¿s house was she could not bring any green objects, but she had a green frame that her mother gave her of course she couldn¿t leave that behind and she was willing to risk that. Until she unfolds the secrets in her uncle¿s house. This was not a boring book and I would recommend it. It¿s an interesting book.

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  • Posted September 4, 2011

    REALLY GOOD AND SCARY

    i hate scary things, but i normally read one scary book each summer, just to like, get out of my comfort zone. I read this book, and it was so good!!!!! i hate scary things, and this was the scariest thing i ever read, and i loved it.

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  • Posted January 8, 2011

    An incredible book with a suprising end!

    Jade Green is an amazing, twisting story that will keep your nose in the book at all times. It is about Judith, a fourteen year old girl that is an orphan and moves in with her old uncle Geoffrey. Oddly enough, Judith is told not to bring anything green into her uncle's house. When she decides to bring a green silk picture frame of her mother, Judith comes face to face with a horrible mystery that can't be left unsolved! It's up to Judith to figure out why the color green has affected the house and why has it affected only her. What I really enjoyed about the story was that it was very suspenseful and always kept me wanting to read more. At the end of every chapter you are left unsure of what will happen next. Also, every bit of information you are given in each chapter builds on one another which creates an incredible ending. This is a great book for those of you who are searching for a suspenseful novel that keeps you guessing until the very end.

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  • Posted November 3, 2010

    Really Good!!!

    When I first saw this book, I thought it was going to be like other books, but weirdly this book kept me reading. This book kept on making my heart beat fast a lot. This book turned out to be a really good. I like to scare myself so; I would recommend this book to anyone who likes scary stories! I can connect with this book because I've heard something in my closet before, but in the morning it turns out to be my cat. I thought this book was kind o predictable, because you would think that something is about to happen then it's a totally different thing. This book was good at some parts, but not good at other parts. During some parts I was actually scared but most of the book wasn't very thrilling. I think the book would have been better if there had been more action through out the book. The good parts kept me wanting to keep reading happened in the last two chapters. The ending came very suddenly and didn't last long. This book overall was not my favorite but not the worst book I have ever read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2010

    AWESOME BOOK!!!

    I loved this book it was really good and scary actually which surprised me because i have read other books that say they are scay but are not even close so scary to i really loved this book!!..(:

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  • Posted August 2, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    FUN READ

    I LOVED THIS BOOK,
    IT WAS A FUN READ OF MYSTERIOUS HORRORS,AND AN ENTERTAINING
    PLOT LINE.THE BOOK WAS AN ENTERTAINING READ FOR A RAINY DAY.
    JADE GREEN IS JUST A GIRL WHO FINDS THE MYSTERIES WITH IN THE HOUSE
    THAT SHE IS STAYING IN. IT IS THRILLING AT TIMES AND YOU CAN GET
    ABSORBED IN IT VERY EASILY. IF YOU LIKE A GOOD MYSTERY, AND A BIT OF A THRILL YOU WILL LOVE THIS BOOK!
    I READ THIS BOOK TWO YEARS AGO WHEN I WAS IN FOURTH GRADE SO THEN IT FELT A LITTLE MATURE FOR ME,AND NOW I WOULD LOVE TO READ IT AGAIN.IF YOU ARE AN ADULT READING THIS OR EVEN A KID YOU WOULD MOST LIKELY LOVE THIS BOOK IF YOU LIKE THE THRILL.

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  • Posted March 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    LOVE&lt;LOVE&lt;LOVE this BOOK!!!!

    You have to buy this book. It is soooooo good. I read it all in a few hours. I couldn't put it down. I really think you should get this, it's better than it sounds. :):)
    This girl's parents died and she as to live in her uncles house and nothing green is allowed in the house(can't tell why) and she disobeys and some stuff happens...
    it's SUPER good!!! Please, please, please buy this book!!!!!!

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  • Posted January 3, 2010

    Jade Green is Amazing!

    Jade Green the Ghost Story by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is great! It has a lot of twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat. Every chapter ends with something that leaves you hanging. The story is about a girl named Judith Sparrow who is adopted into her Uncle's home. She arrives having no particular interest in the house's history, but leaves knowing a long ghost story about it. She encounters haunting by the ghost of the Sparrow's household when she broeaks the one rule of the house: Don't bring anything GREEN! The setting is South Carolina in a fictional town called Whispers. Judith makes many friends, and even finds love. It is a thrilling tale of love and fright for Judith Sparrow as she comes to learn the story of Jade Green. I don't think I'll ever forget that severed hand playing the piano while Judith was home alone. If you want to enjoy a thrilling and frightening story of history,go today and check out Naylor's novel. It is worth the ride!

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  • Posted October 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Jade Green: A Great Book!

    This was a great book! I'm not one to read or watch anything scary or ghostly in anyway at all. But it was like even though it got really scary I couldn't put it down because I always wanted to know what was going to happen next. I finished this book in a total of two sittings! I liked how the hand in the end was trying to help Judith and Mrs. Hastings instead of hurting them. I was kind of surprised when I found out Charles was the one who killed Jade Green and not Jade Green herself. I really like how it ended happy but not cheesy "happily ever after". It just ended with them geting away safe. I think the only thing I disliked about this book was that it was so short. I would recomend this book to anyone. Even people who are afraid of scary things could read this book.

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  • Posted August 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    book was good

    this book was pretty intersting. it has a nice story n gos together well no need to get further into it jus a straight up review. i liked jade green 9/10 n even tho its a 9 i recommend it to anybody lookin for a good ghost book to read.

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