GHOST OF A HANGED MAN by Vivian Vande Velde


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From Vande Velde (see review, above) an ingenious ghost story tailor-made for those ready to leave horror series behind. In 1877, Ben doesn't want to go to outlaw Jake Barnette's hanging, even though his father is the sheriff and his little sister, Annabelle, is desperate to see it. He's seen someone die--his mother--and that's enough. He knows that Jake made a lot of threats before he died. The next spring, a tinker family comes to town, and predicts danger from water. They're right; torrential rains turn the streets to mud and wash away the soil covering many of the graves, including that of the hanged outlaw. The mood of the town turns ugly against the tinkers, but not before Zandra, a young girl about Ben's age, reads tarot cards for him and Annabelle, and predicts danger but also that love will aid them. When the people Jake threatened start to die, Ben gets worried--will his father be next? This is a fast-paced read, with a bit of tarot lore thrown in, as well as a message of tolerance for outsiders.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1998
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish