The Ghost, the White House, and Me

The Ghost, the White House, and Me

4.7 4
by Judith St. George
     
 
What if your mom was president? KayKay Granger and her sister, Annie, have just moved into the White House after their mom's inauguration, and soon find out that it's not exactly as fun as it sounds. But things get a lot more interesting when the sisters find out the White House may be haunted. Could Abraham Lincoln's spirit really be lingering in the Lincoln bedroom?

Overview

What if your mom was president? KayKay Granger and her sister, Annie, have just moved into the White House after their mom's inauguration, and soon find out that it's not exactly as fun as it sounds. But things get a lot more interesting when the sisters find out the White House may be haunted. Could Abraham Lincoln's spirit really be lingering in the Lincoln bedroom? KayKay and Annie want to get to the bottom of this mystery—but are they ready for what they might uncover?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

St. George (the So You Want to Be picture books) offers a rousing tale that is part mystery, part ghost story and lightly grounded in history. When 11-year-old KayKay's mother becomes President and the family moves into the White House, KayKay gets intrigued by a report that the ghost of Abraham Lincoln still haunts his old bedroom. Although KayKay does not believe in ghosts, she loves a mystery, and she can't wait to investigate. In a chatty tone, KayKay as narrator works in details about day-to-day life in the White House and the responsibilities of being the President's daughter. A "secret writer," she also explains how she incorporates real life into plots for her stories. The quick plot and deftly sketched characters, along with a neatly resolved ending, serve the target audience well. Quirky, tongue-in-cheek anecdotes about the nation's presidents further enhance this novel's appeal. Ages 8-12. (Nov.)

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Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
Nobody could be in a better position to write a White House ghost story than Judith St. George, author of So You Want to Be President?. Here she serves up a light but tasty tale of a determined presidential daughter (and aspiring mystery writer) who wants to spend the night in the Lincoln Bedroom to see if it is indeed haunted. When Mom (a.k.a. Madame President) refuses to let Kay-Kay have this privilege, instead dispensing it to Uncle Matt, Kay-Kay and her younger sister decide to play a practical joke on Uncle Matt by staging a ghostly visitation. The scheme predictably backfires with comic, pleasurably scary, and ultimately heart-warming results. Aside from one unnecessary and problematic element (it's jarringly implausible to see brilliant classmate Borden, a voracious reader who devours medical journal articles and tomes of presidential lore, suddenly revealed as struggling with dyslexia), the story is pure fun. St. George indulges every reader's fantasy of what it would be like to live in the White House, detailing the private bowling alley and swimming pool, the personal chef, and accommodating Secret Service agents as she crafts a light-hearted and enjoyable story starring the two First Daughters of the first woman President. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

Gr 3-5 KayKay Granger, 11, is used to being the daughter of a political mother, but she isn't impressed with being a First Kid. Living in the White House isn't so great-it seems cold and not at all homey, and her mother is extremely preoccupied with her duties. Her father and the support staff are of some comfort. KayKay, an aspiring mystery writer, and her younger sister both get caught up in different ways with the idea that the White House might be haunted: Annie sees a tall thin man with a beard enter one of the rooms and he never comes out again. KayKay is determined to sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom, despite her mother's refusal to give permission. Complications develop when the trick that KayKay and Annie concoct goes awry and a foreign guest is terrified. Eventually, their mother comes around, and the girls have an experience that's far from what they imagined. The plot is lively, the characters are believable, and some interesting history is woven into the story.-Sheila Fiscus, Our Lady of Peace School, Erie, PA

Kirkus Reviews
Now that they live in the White House, 11-year-old KayKay Granger has the perfect opportunity to hone her mystery-writing skills by sleeping in Lincoln's bedroom. But first she has to convince her mother, the president, to let her do it and her more timid younger sister to keep her company. After all, the rumors of its haunting might just be true. St. George, author of numerous mysteries as well as So You Want to Be President (2000), provides an imaginative glimpse behind the scenes at the White House in this ghost story for middle-grade readers. The premise, being children of the first female president, is intriguing. Character development takes a back seat to plot and setting; the off-limits Family Floor is the centerpiece here, with detailed descriptions of the long hallways and lavishly decorated rooms. While KayKay and Annie are thoroughly frightened by a parental trick, the actual ghost KayKay encounters is presented as completely ordinary, perhaps just a dream. A solid and not especially scary introduction to the ghost-story genre. (Fiction. 8-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823420452
Publisher:
Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
10/28/2007
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile:
800L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Judith St. George has written more than forty distinguished books which have won numerous awards, including the Christopher Award, the Edgar Allan Poe Award and the Golden Kite Award. Her picture book So You Want to Be President?, illustrated by David Small, received the Caldecott Medal. Judy was a delegate to the White House Conference on Library and Information Services, but saw no ghosts while she was there. She lives in Connecticut.

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The Ghost, the White House, and Me 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
tennisgirlsc More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the voice of the main character (she's an aspiring mystery author!). The mystery, suspense, history, and inside look at the white house through the eyes of kids is engaging. Great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago