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The Elevator Ghost

Overview

When Carolina Giddle moves into the Blatchford Arms, no one knows what to make of her sequin-sprinkled sneakers and her trinket-crusted car. But the parents are happy there’s a new babysitter around, and Carolina seems to have an uncanny ability to calm the most rambunctious child with her ghostly stories. Armed with unusual snacks, candles to set the mood, and her trusty sidekick — a tarantula named Chiquita — Carolina entertains the children with some good old-fashioned storytelling and, at the end, a great ...

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The Elevator Ghost

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Overview

When Carolina Giddle moves into the Blatchford Arms, no one knows what to make of her sequin-sprinkled sneakers and her trinket-crusted car. But the parents are happy there’s a new babysitter around, and Carolina seems to have an uncanny ability to calm the most rambunctious child with her ghostly stories. Armed with unusual snacks, candles to set the mood, and her trusty sidekick — a tarantula named Chiquita — Carolina entertains the children with some good old-fashioned storytelling and, at the end, a great Halloween party. Governor General’s Award winner Glen Huser brings his quirky sense of humor and horror to some time-honored motifs. Holy terror Angelo Bellini discovers that no one can throw a tantrum like a double-crossed pirate. Timid Hubert and Hetty Croop become inspired by the story of a boy who finds the perfect weapon for overcoming his fear of the dark. And Dwight and Dwayne Fergus, two would-be Freddy Kruegers, finally meet their match in Carolina's story of the footless skeleton. As for Carolina, it turns out she has a timeworn connection to the Blatchford Arms, and to the ghost who still haunts the building — especially its old-fashioned elevator.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
06/16/2014
In episodic chapters that call to mind the quirky problem-solving of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Huser (Skinnybones and the Wrinkle Queen) introduces Carolina Giddle, who drives into town on Halloween night and moves into #713 at the Blatchford Arms. Carolina’s business card says it all: “Experienced babysitter, mah-jong instructor, and vegetarian caterer. Will do light housekeeping and séances upon request,” and the Southern transplant uses the power of storytelling (ghost stories, in particular) to charm Blatchford’s young residents. For unruly twins Dwight and Dwayne Fergus, a story about two boys who get on a skeleton’s bad side after they steal its foot for a prank, is just enough to scare them straight; the tale of a mountain king who creates scary shadows helps timid Hubert Croop conquer his fear of the dark (along with the gift of a penlight). Although Huser’s story is set in the present, the once-grand apartment setting, eccentric character names, and many candlelit storytelling sessions call to mind children’s novels of yesteryear. Innerst’s moody b&w illustrations make Carolina’s eerie tales feel all the more real. Ages 8–11. Illustrator’s agent: Susan Cohen, Writers House. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"The once-grand apartment setting, eccentric character names, and many candlelit storytelling sessions call to mind children’s novels of yesteryear. Innerst’s moody illustrations make Carolina’s eerie tales feel all the more real." — Publishers Weekly

"The tales are relatively tame and are appropriate for readers new to the genre or those faint of heart." — School Library Journal

"The mix of humor and gentle spookiness make this a perfect classroom readaloud.." — Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Blatchford was scary any night of the year, not just on Halloween. It was a very old part of town with crooked streets and bad lighting. Cats yowled and scrapped in the alleys, and teenagers with tattoos hung out under the bridges by the park." — from the book

Kirkus Reviews
2014-06-25
Rumors abound that the Blatchford Arms is haunted—just the kind of place where a quirky babysitter like Carolina Giddle can brew her ghost tales for a cauldron of young apartment dwellers. This middle-grade spookfest from Governor General Award winner Huser (Stitches, 2003) promises goose bumps and chills but comes up a bit unseasoned. Carolina Giddle arrives at the Blatchford Arms with a bang. She drives a knickknack-laden VW Bug (aptly named Trinket), carries around her companion tarantula, Chiquita, in his cage, and holds heartwarming conversations with her beloved aunt Beulah and her friend Grace, who both happen to be ghosts. The apartment building overflows with young trick-or-treaters in need of attention and supervision. With her gift for storytelling and setting the right mood, Carolina Giddle enchants them with eerie stories they can't resist. Each tale mirrors the children's woes or flaws, such as Hubert's fear of the dark or Galina's habit of ruining her artist father's canvasses. Although the tales are well-told, entertaining stand-alone stories, they offer predictability (the children become more well-behaved after listening) instead of a sense of memorable wit and enlightenment. The ending may leave readers wondering if they've missed something.This creepy gathering of stories creates buzz and possibility but in the end falls short. (Fiction. 8-12)
School Library Journal
07/01/2014
Gr 2–6—Carolina Giddle is the new babysitter at the Blatchford Arms. Armed with ghost stories and snacks, she travels from apartment to apartment dispensing lighthearted spookiness and tasty snacks that calm and soothe the children of the building. Each chapter contains one short ghost story. The tales are relatively tame and are appropriate for readers new to the genre or those faint of heart rather than the true horror enthusiast. When readers are finally introduced to the ghost in the elevator, the result is less than spectacular.—Elizabeth Speer, Cisco College, TX
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554984251
  • Publisher: Groundwood Books
  • Publication date: 8/5/2014
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 536,133
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Glen Huser’s novels include Touch of the Clown (short-listed for the Mr. Christie’s Book Award), Stitches (winner of the Governor General’s Award), Skinnybones, and The Wrinkle Queen (nominated for the Governor General’s Award and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award). A former teacher and librarian in Edmonton, he has taught writing for children at the University of British Columbia. He recently explored his passion for musical theater in Time for Flowers, Time for Snow, a picture-book retelling of the myth of Demeter and Persephone (with a CD featuring a 180-voice children’s chorus). He lives in Vancouver.

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