Aunt Tabby and Uncle Drac are heading off to Transylvania on Araminta's birthday—without Araminta. To make matters worse, Araminta will have a babysitter. When that sitter turns out to be Araminta's supercool cousin, Mathilda, things start to look up—except Mathilda shows up with two rowdy ghosts who destroy the house and ignore all the rules. Can Araminta come up with a Plan to get rid of these two bad ghosts once and for all?
About the Author
ANGIE SAGE was born in London and grew up in the Thames Valley, London, and Kent. She now lives in Somerset in a very old house that has a 480-year-old painting of King Henry VIII on the wall. The seven books in her original Septimus Heap series are international bestsellers. She is also the author of the Araminta Spookie series. Visit her online at www.septimusheapblog.com or follow @AngieSageAuthor on Twitter.
Read an Excerpt
Araminta Spookie 5: Ghostsitters
By Angie Sage
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Copyright © 2008
All right reserved.
My uncle Drac says some funny things. Last week he said, "There is always a slug in the lettuce sandwich of life, Minty."
I had to think for a while until I understood what he meant. You see, Uncle Drac loves lettuce sandwiches, but even he does not like slugs. I figured he meant that just when you are enjoying something—like eating your favorite kind of sandwich—something yucky always happens (like finding a slug in it) to stop you from enjoying it.
Sometimes Uncle Drac is a little bit gloomy, so I do not always take notice of what he says—but last week I could see exactly what he meant. I kept thinking really good things were happening and then they turned out to have a great big fat slug in them.
Last Monday was the beginning of spring break, which Wanda and I had been looking forward to. And in two days' time it was going to be my birthday, which I was really looking forward to—although I am not sure if Wanda was. Wanda is Wanda Wizzard, and she lives with me in Spookie House. She didn't always live here, but it is much more fun since Wanda, her mom, Brenda, and her dad, Barry, moved in. Of course there is also my uncle Drac, who can be quite fun sometimes too, and then there is my aunt Tabby, who is never fun—even though she thinks she is.
Wanda andI were eating our breakfast in the third-kitchen-on-the-left-just-past-the-boiler-room when Aunt Tabby—who was stirring the oatmeal and opening her mail at the same time—let out an excited shriek. Wanda and I both nearly jumped off our chairs, as Aunt Tabby does not usually shriek (unless Uncle Drac drops a wardrobe on her foot). In fact Aunt Tabby was so excited that she dropped the rest of the mail in the oatmeal and all the ink ran off the envelopes and turned it blue, so we were allowed to have Brenda's Choco-Drop Krackles for breakfast instead.
Aunt Tabby threw the letter on the table and squeaked, "I've won!"
"Won what, Aunt Tabby?" I asked.
"The competition!" said Aunt Tabby.
I was surprised, as it is Wanda's mother, Brenda, who enters tons of competitions, not Aunt Tabby.
"Drac will love this," said Aunt Tabby.
Although this did not exactly answer my question, it did narrow the field, as Uncle Drac does not like many things. Basically he likes bats, the dark, and sleeping, although not necessarily in that order.
"Have you won a new sleeping bag?" I asked.
"No, Araminta," said Aunt Tabby. "It's much better than that."
"Two new sleeping bags?" said Wanda, who does not have a great imagination. "Or three new sleeping bags or maybe even four—"
"No, Wanda," said Aunt Tabby very patiently.
"So what have you won?" I asked very impatiently.
Aunt Tabby gave me her wouldn't-you-like-to-know look.
"Tell us, Aunt Tabby—please," said Wanda, who is very nosy and can't stand not knowing things.
"Here you are," said Aunt Tabby, handing Wanda the letter. "Good reading practice for you, Wanda."
I was a bit annoyed that Aunt Tabby had given the letter to Wanda, as she takes forever to read anything and it meant that I had to look over Wanda's shoulder to read it.
"Stop breathing down my neck, Araminta," moaned Wanda.
"I'm not breathing, I'm reading," I told her.
"You are breathing," said Wanda. "You are always breathing, Araminta. It is very annoying."
"Well, I am so sorry, Wanda. I will try not to in the future."
"Araminta, Wanda," said Aunt Tabby, giving us one of her looks. "Stop it."
Excerpted from Araminta Spookie 5: Ghostsitters by Angie Sage
Copyright © 2008 by Angie Sage. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the last book so far. It's just as entertaining as the previous four. Makes you want more Araminta Spookie!
Angie Sage's fifth book with Araminta Spookie is sure to capture reader's attention in this exciting story. Araminta Spookie is about to celebrate her birthday, but things aren't going the way she planned. Life is bound to have some disappointments and surprises. She finds out an imporant lesson: "There is always a slug in the lettuce sandwich of life." Araminta and her best friend Wanda are left to defend themselves from their controlling babysitter, Nurse Watkins, while her Uncle Drac and Aunt Tabby decide to explore the bat caves. Fortunately, Araminta's cool cousin Mathilda shows up to watch the girls. Araminta thinks she is going to have a fun time with Mathilda in charge, but things get more complicated when Mathilda brings two ghosts with her. Ned and Jed are the two ghosts, who love making messes and throwing things. They are causing so much trouble that the best ghost at Spookie House, Sir Horace, is threatening to leave the premises. Araminta finds herself fighting off ghostsitters and putting her Big Plan for saving Sir Horace's castle into action all on what was supposed to be a great birthday. This book is a wonderful choice for elementary students between the ages of 7-10, who enjoy reading humorous, adventure stories. The characters in the book are scary creatures, such as ghosts and vampires, but the book doesn't contain material that would scare children. At the end of the book, there is also a link provided where readers can go online to play games, send spookie e-cards, and learn more about the characters who inhabit Spookie House. Readers will have fun reading the book and then exploring the web site. Readers will not only have fun reading the book, but will also learn important life long lessons. The entire set of Araminta Spookie stories seem to be thoroughly enjoyed by children and would make a wonderful addition to a library collection, as well as fun, books to use in a classroom.
It isn't enough that Araminta and best friend, Wanda, are left behind during her birthday week just so Aunt Tabby, Uncle Drac, and Wanda's parents can explore the giant bat caves of Transylvannia. Great Aunt Emilene has been "delayed," which means the girls are stuck with a worse babysitting prospect: Nurse Watkins. Thank goodness Araminta's cooler-than-cool cousin Mathilda shows up and convinces Nurse Watkins that Aunt Tabby wouldn't mind if she looked after the girls alone. But Araminta and Wanda quickly realize there are worse things than having an old fuddy-duddy for a babysitter once they meet Ned and Jed, two young poltergeists Mathilda can't make go away. The mischievous spirits aren't in Spookie Manor more than five minutes before wreaking all sorts of havoc. With resident ghost Sir Horace already on edge over the planned destruction of his old keep, it's not long before he's threatening to vacate the premises permanently. When Ned and Jed's antics lead to the discovery of a tarnished old ring hidden in Sir Horace's armor, the old ghost is beyond despair and out the door with the manor's other two ghosts (his page Edmond and faithful wold Fang) in tow. Together Araminta, Wanda, and Mathilda must find the source of Horace's distress, save his keep, bring their ghosts home, convince their new guests Spookie Manor *isn't* where they want to settle permanently, and set the house back to rights - all before the grown-ups return from their trip. With its light, humorous storytelling and quirky, engaging characters, GHOSTSITTERS gives young readers an entertaining escape into Araminta's world of paranormal excursions and hijinx.