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Told in the words of Isaac, a Choctaw boy who does not survive the Trail of Tears, How I Became a Ghost is a tale of innocence and resilience in the face of tragedy. From the opening line, “Maybe you have never read a book written by a ghost before,” the reader is put on notice that this is no normal book. Isaac tells the story of his tribe's removal from the only land its people have ever known, and how that journey to what would become Oklahoma led him to become a ghostone with the ability to help those he left behind. Isaac leads a remarkable foursome of Choctaw comrades: a tough-minded teenage girl, a shape-shifting panther boy, a lovable five-year-old ghost who only wants her mom and dad to be happy, and Isaac's talking dog, Jumper. The first in a trilogy, How I Became a Ghost thinly disguises an important and oft-overlooked piece of history.
About the Author
Tim Tingle is an Oklahoma Choctaw, an award-winning author, and a storyteller who has presented at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. His great-great-great-grandfather, John Carnes, walked the Trail of Tears in 1835. In 1993, Tingle retraced the Trail to Choctaw homelands in Mississippi and began recording stories of tribal elders. His first book, Walking the Choctaw Road, was the result, and in 2005 it was named Book of the Year in Oklahoma and Alaska. Tingle's first children's book, Crossing Bok Chitto, a Sequoyah Award finalist, garnered more than twenty state and national awards, including Best Children's Book from the American Indian Library Association; it was also a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice title. How I Became a Ghost was inspired by memories of Choctaw elders.