THE GHOSTS OF RATHBURN PARK by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

THE GHOSTS OF RATHBURN PARK

Age Range: 9 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

Matt Hamilton is more interested in learning about history, especially that of his new residence, Timber City, than he is in meeting other 11-year-olds who live there. After talking to the town librarian and reading Timber City, Phoenix of the Northwest, Matt learns about Rover, the beloved dog that belonged to the long-dead foreman at the Rathburn lumber mill, along with many local legends about the wealthy Rathburn family. He has never been able to have a dog because of his sister’s allergies, so he clearly remembers the Rover look-alike who rescued him from the woods when he got lost his first time exploring Rathburn Park. Snyder (Spyhole Secrets, 2001, etc.) does a credible job setting the stage for the mysterious events that keep Matt wondering if that dog is Rover’s ghost. Then there’s the girl dressed in old-fashioned clothes whom he repeatedly meets near the old Rathburn palace; is she the ghost of one of the children who grew up there? Plenty of clues prepare readers for reality: the girl playing dress-up is really the granddaughter of the nurse who takes care of the only surviving Rathburn. And the dog? In a perhaps too-neat wrap-up, Matt’s sister is cured of her allergies and gets a puppy that is likely a descendant of Rover’s and, in certain light, looks something like him. A satisfying read for those who like some character development along with their not-too-scary ghost stories. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 8th, 2002
ISBN: 0-385-32767-6
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2002




JUST-A-LITTLE-BIT SPOOKY GHOST STORIES FOR MIDDLE GRADERS:

Children MY BROTHER’S GHOST by Allan Ahlberg
by Allan Ahlberg
Children GOLDEN AND GREY by Louise Arnold
by Louise Arnold
Children THE SEER OF SHADOWS by Avi
by Avi
Children THE BLUE GHOST by Marion Dane Bauer
by Marion Dane Bauer

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