THE HAUNTING OF GRANITE FALLS

Combine a quintet of homesick Scottish ghosts, a Texas millionaire and his sickly daughter, the impoverished last scion of the Clan MacBuff, and a trio of fascistically inclined malefactors, and you get a terrifically tongue-in-cheek outing, originally published in the UK in 1987. When 12-year-old Alex MacBuff sells Carra Castle to oil tycoon Hiram Hopgood, he must guarantee its freedom from ghostly liability—it seems that Mr. Hopgood’s frail daughter Helen would not be able to withstand the shock of a haunting. He duly sends them away, but a series of misadventures results in the inevitable convergence of castle, ghosts, criminals, and heroes in the most unlikely of settings: Granite Falls, Texas. A rollicking farce ensues, in which Alex brings both health and friendship to Helen, the ghosts foil a kidnap plot, and all live—or haunt—happily ever after. Ibbotson has made a name for herself by writing fast-paced, smart, and funny fantasies, and this offering is no exception. The narrative moves back and forth from ghosts—each a fully realized character—to humans, cheerily demanding the suspension of disbelief. Readers will be happy to comply. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-525-47192-8

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2004

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The book is a cute, but rather standard offering from Avi (Tom, Babette, and Simon, p. 776, etc.).

POPPY

From the Poppy series , Vol. 3

An adolescent mouse named Poppy is off on a romantic tryst with her rebel boyfriend when they are attacked by Mr. Ocax, the owl who rules over the area.

He kills the boyfriend, but Poppy escapes and Mr. Ocax vows to catch her. Mr. Ocax has convinced all the mice that he is their protector when, in fact, he preys on them mercilessly. When the mice ask his permission to move to a new house, he refuses, blaming Poppy for his decision. Poppy suspects that there is another reason Mr. Ocax doesn't want them to move and investigates to clear her name. With the help of a prickly old porcupine and her quick wits, Poppy defeats her nemesis and her own fears, saving her family in the bargain. 

The book is a cute, but rather standard offering from Avi (Tom, Babette, and Simon, p. 776, etc.). (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-531-09483-9

Page Count: 147

Publisher: Orchard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1995

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With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating...

FRINDLE

Nicholas is a bright boy who likes to make trouble at school, creatively. 

When he decides to torment his fifth-grade English teacher, Mrs. Granger (who is just as smart as he is), by getting everyone in the class to replace the word "pen'' with "frindle,'' he unleashes a series of events that rapidly spins out of control. If there's any justice in the world, Clements (Temple Cat, 1995, etc.) may have something of a classic on his hands. By turns amusing and adroit, this first novel is also utterly satisfying. The chess-like sparring between the gifted Nicholas and his crafty teacher is enthralling, while Mrs. Granger is that rarest of the breed: a teacher the children fear and complain about for the school year, and love and respect forever after. 

With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating tale—one to press upon children, and one they'll be passing among themselves. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-689-80669-8

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1996

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