THE WHISTLING WHIRLIGIG by Ben Shecter

THE WHISTLING WHIRLIGIG

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Since it's nearly impossible to work an original Christmas miracle, Ben Shecter settles for an unassuming one -- as unassuming as shy, lonely Josh Newman, who has been abandoned by his newly divorced parents to the bleak routine of Cragsmoor Military Academy. Left alone for the holidays, Josh is invited to the home of one-handed history teacher Otis Wicker -- enjoys Otis' good cooking and knowledge of antiques and crafts, meets (and later tragically loses) a pet dog, and finds out that a mysterious intruder is actually a boy ghost (the runaway slave Matthew Hubbard) who needs Josh's friendship to get on to ""wherever he had to go in the first place."" The total effect is vaguely heartwarming, and Josh's sardonic, sotto vote criticisms of his parents and the military school ethic keep the pathos in balance.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1974
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Harper & Row