Monday, June 02, 2008

The Ghost's Grave by Peg Kehret

Josh has just moved to a new state with his mother and new step-father. He doesn't know anyone in his new town yet, but is excited because he just found out that he was selected to play on his school's summer baseball league team. The only catch? He can't play baseball that summer because his mom and step-dad have to travel to India. To make matters worse, he will have to spend the summer in a little coal-mining town out in the middle of nowhere with a great-great aunt he's never met. He figures he's in for the dullest, most horrible summer ever. The bus drops him off at a little general store (no bus station--town's too small) and that's when he meets his great-great aunt for the first time. The ride to her house is hair-raising--her old truck does NOT have seat belts (yep, the truck is so old, it was made before seat belts were required), which wouldn't worry him nearly so badly if she didn't drive down the middle of the road (instead of in a lane like normal people). When they finally arrive safely at her house (phew!), he's checking out the house when he hears a blood-curdling scream. He runs to the kitchen where he finds his great aunt chasing a bat. (She really doesn't like bats, and especially not in the house.) He's figuring that if they turn the lights out and stop moving, they can shoo the bat out the door or out a window, but his great-aunt is having none of that. She goes out of the room and comes back--with a shot gun--and shoots the bat. Do you think this turns out to be the dullest, most horrible summer ever? Nope. Add to this a stray cat, a one-legged ghost, and a mysterious theft and you have the the makings for a great summer-time read. Check it out! This book won the Intermediate division of the 2007-2008 Volunteer State Book Awards.

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