THE GHOST BOAT by Jacqueline Jackson


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A slippery adventure/mystery with the four Richards children (apparently before they become The Paleface Redskins), which shows how a homegrown ghost story can hoodwink its creators. After they see an unnamed rowboat drifting around, Thad, Marcy, Betsy and Janice embellish the local legend of a bloated body found on their lake: ""And his ghost floats. . . while his boat floats."" What makes it especially scary for Thad the youngest, is the unexplained resurrection of a silver cup he accidentally scorched and buried (Marcy was watching) and the unexpected reappearance of the boat at crucial times, particularly as a last exhibit in their Chamber of Horrors. Even when the others explain all their secret maneuvers, he's not convinced that the ghost is imaginary and so they leave him to ""tame his bugaboo."" He constructs an exorcism to suit his spook but it's a letdown for readers. O.K. if you take them at their word (which includes referrals to the Five Chinese Brothers and the Rootabaga Stories) but mostly forced fun.

Pub Date: April 17th, 1969
Publisher: Little, Brown