Books by Robert Staermose

Released: June 1, 1998

Monty's mother, a champion jigsaw-puzzle solver, is worried about him: He claims to be allergic to ghosts, and to be in contact with the ghost of a girl who lives in an abandoned car. So she sends him to the Brinsley Codd School for Sensible Thought, hoping to straighten him out. Monty comes in contact with the ghost of Brinsley Codd himself, and promises to help out by finding former pupils whose lives the teacher is afraid he has ruined by being too nice to them. Mahy (Beaten by a Balloon, 1998, etc.) could have left things there for a triumphantly lighthearted romp—comically illustrated by Staermose—but also intertwines several subplots and minor mysteries, all of which are resolved to the utmost satisfaction of those involved. Along with a crisp pace, an abundance of silly words and silly names, and a cast of children who save the day by showing more sense than the adults can muster, this will please Mahy's fans, and will also bring her new ones. (Fiction. 8-12) Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

Saracen the Shy lives on Breakfast Island with his adventure- loving grandmother. When she learns that the pirate Gabriel Grudge- Gallows has escaped from prison and is lurking in Antarctica, she sets out after him, leaving Saracen alone. In the course of her pursuits, she discovers the tingleberry and sends it back home; Saracen cultivates it and, overcoming his shyness, is immediately brought in contact with the world. The berries become immensely popular, and he becomes rich. Eventually, the pirates come to the island, and various storylines converge in a big chase; everyone lives happily ever after. As usual with the works of Mahy (The Other Side of Silence, p. 1434, etc.), a summary hardly does the book justice. The plot flies forward, extremely light and extremely tight, a combination that could only be the work of a virtuoso. Always freewheeling, always graceful, Mahy creates a kind of lyrical slapstick that is warm, inventive, philosophical, and exciting—all at once. Staermose makes his debut with droll black- and-white drawings that fit the story perfectly. A real must-have. (Fiction. 8-12)Read full book review >