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Posted March 16, 2014
Synopsis: When Sarah discovers that the ancient tree outside her window is haunted by the ghost of a boy, she is both terrified and fascinated. The ghost boy gives her a beautiful old box and begs her to find a key to open it. But soon, Sarah's pesky goth step-brother Matt is sticking his nose into her business. Can Sarah find a key to the box without Matt figuring out what's going on?
My Thoughts: This book was written specifically for middle-school-aged reluctant readers. I'd say the interest level / maturity is for a 10 to 12 year old, but it is second grade reading level. For that target audience, I think this is a wonderful novel! The plot is just the type of story I loved reading when I was in the 4th grade, and the difficult dynamics between Sarah and her step-brother are something that a lot of kids this age will relate to. And, these dynamics end with a message of cooperation, teamwork, and new understanding. So there's a great message to the story, too. If you are struggling to find books that are age-appropriate for your dyslexic child, I highly recommend this book. In fact, I wish there were a lot more books like this available. The more our reluctant readers enjoy their books, the more likely they are to become readers.
Posted February 23, 2014
Title: The Ghost Box
Author: Catherine Fisher
Publisher: Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC
Genre: Teen & Young Adult
Tags: Paranormal, Ghost
Overall Rating: Very Good
Sarah is at an exhibit of her mother's work when she finds a painting of her home from more than a hundred years before. Back when it was just an old barn with a great oak growing where her bedroom is now. As she peers closely into the tree she sees birds and a face, then the boy in the leaves winks at her. Startled she jumps back as her stepfather comes up to look at the painting as well. Although she likes Garth, her step-father, she is not enamored with her step-brother Matt. Matt is obnoxious, messy and loud.
Some how Sarah pulls a box from a dream into the real world. Then a boy invades her dreams demanding she find the key to open the box and end his century long imprisonment. Suddenly Matt is very interested in the the box and begins following her. While she fears the boy ghost and his temper she does not know what to do. She is afraid he might get out and afraid what he will do to her and her family if she does not do as he demands.
Do you have a reluctant reader in your family? Have a friend who keeps saying they'd read more but are just too busy? Know someone who has trouble with reading, perhaps has dyslexia? Catherine Fisher wrote The Ghost box with them in mind. It may be a bit short for some it is a quick enough read to entertain and draw the reader into the story without them being so long they loose the thread of the story. Many come from blended families and understand the caution that Matt and Sarah have when dealing with one another. Both with their own resentments. Only together can they solve the mystery of boy locked in the box. If they don't work together history could repeat itself with disastrous consequences.
The Ghost Box was a hit with my nephews and I enjoyed reading it with them. Pick up a copy and share it with the young readers in your life. Be sure to enjoy it for yourself as well. Look for more great reads from Catherine Fisher such as her Relic Master or Incarceron series. Check all her books out.
Posted August 20, 2012