The Mapmaker and the Ghost

The Mapmaker and the Ghost

4.5 8
by Sarvenaz Tash

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Sometimes the best adventures of all are waiting right in your own back yard.

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Sometimes the best adventures of all are waiting right in your own back yard.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Laura Backman
Eleven year old Goldenrod Moram is bold, curious, and loves a good quest. She hopes to be an explorer like her idols, explorers Lewis and Clark. As she says goodbye to elementary school forever she decides to take her mapmaking hobby to the next level. For a summer project she sets out to make the most accurate and detailed map of her hometown. This naturally leads her to the town's mysterious forest where she stumbles into an adventure that has been over a hundred years in the making. She meets a mysterious old lady who convinces her to search for a legendary, undiscovered blue rose in the forest. There, Goldenrod bumps into a ghost. Not just an ordinary ghost, but the ghost of Meriwether Lewis. Goldenrod's little brother, wanting his own adventure follows his sister into the forest and becomes captured by the Gross-Out Gang, a group of oddly-named troublemakers who live in the forest. The author takes her time setting the plot in motion, but soon enough the story, with a perfect mix of reality and a fairy tale-like spirit turns fast paced and action packed. Goldenrod's quest to rescue her brother, discover the blue rose, and go up against the Gross-Out Gang is a clever adventure with excitement and unexpected twists and turns. The author provides a downloadable teacher's guide on her website. Middle-grade boys and girls will appreciate the dynamic mix of characters as told through different viewpoints and will learn more about an important figure in American history. A touching ending will satisfy readers and may inspire them to grab a compass and set off on their own quest. Reviewer: Laura Backman
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—When her best friend moves away, 11-year-old Goldenrod Moram tries to think of a project that will keep her busy during the long summer before school starts. She loves looking at and making maps and she idolizes Lewis and Clark. She decides to create a map of her town and convinces her mother to let her explore beyond the one-mile radius that has been her unsupervised exploring limit. She begins by setting out to map the forest area at the edge of town. Along the way, she has a series of adventures that include a mysterious old woman who sends her on a magical search, a gang of colorful would-be thieves, and, most surprisingly, an encounter with the ghost of Meriwether Lewis, who makes his own demands on her time. In this debut novel, Tash has created a memorable cast of characters and a story that combines both humor and suspense. Goldenrod is on a mission, and nothing will deter this determined girl. When the Gross Out Gang captures her curious little brother, just enough danger is created to keep readers in suspense. Children are sure to enjoy this combination of an intrepid heroine, some slightly disreputable characters with humorous and disgusting habits, and a ghost in need of assistance. This page-turning adventure will tickle readers' funny bones.—Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY

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