THE BAGPIPER’S GHOST by Jane Yolen

THE BAGPIPER’S GHOST

Vol. III, Tartan Magic
Age Range: 10 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

Third entry in the “Tartan Magic” series (behind Wizard’s Map and The Pictish Child, both 1999), this carries vacationing American twins Peter and Jennifer into a Scottish graveyard for encounters with not one ghost, but three. Having acquired a talking dog and a talking horse to go with their witch Gran in previous adventures, the two teenagers are terrified but not surprised when spectral Mary MacFadden rises up from her tomb one midnight, sobbing for her sweetheart Ewan. He, though killed at Culloden, still stands outside the cemetery’s iron gate, piping mournfully. The plot thickens when Peter is suddenly possessed by the raving spirit of Mary’s twin brother Andrew, still obsessed after two and a half centuries with keeping the lovers apart. Yolen strews the dialogue with thick dialect and makes a clumsy but well-intentioned effort to lighten the tone by having Peter and the garrulous canine bicker incessantly. After giving Gran a chance to fill in some historical and magical background, she expertly brings all the players together for a climactic confrontation that allows Jennifer to exercise her nascent magical talents. Despite frequent references to earlier episodes, the story stands alone, and is rich enough in ghosts and magic to please readers of Susan Cooper’s Boggart tales, or younger Betty Ren Wright fans. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-15-202310-0
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2002




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