I thought this was a different Richard Peck book — the name Blossom Culp stood out to me — but I think Blossom is also in a different book by him so I’ll have to search that one out as well.
Anyway. This was extremely charming, funny, easy, and slightly ghosty. Just what I was in the mood for. It’s a children’s novel, so very easy to follow and digest, which I am still slightly ashamed to say I still need apparently. But I’m getting better — I could probably handle a serial-killer novel at about this point in time, but don’t have one lined up. So it’s easy-peasy charming children’s novels for a little while until I feel just a bit stronger. Then I can dive back in and tackle a Dickens or something, which I’m dying to do.
Back to our story. Alexander lives in a big house in a small town. There’s this girl in his class, Blossom Culp, whom everyone likes to pick on. She lives in a house down at the end of his property. One day, she tells him that he has The Gift (second sight) and that his barn is haunted. He does not believe her, but investigates anyway. He finds a small, bedraggled dog, and wet footprints, about the size of a young girls’. Whose footprints could they be? He suspects Blossom, but the facts don’t add up. And then one night, he meets The Ghost, and the adventure starts in earnest.
Almost Mark Twain in style, this story was funny, melancholy, charming and very satisfying. I like it when children’s novels are not dumbed-down, and when they touch on real-life tragedy. I think kids know about tragedy earlier than most parents would like to admit; it’s helpful to see that reflected in the book you’re reading.
I’m pretty sure I’ve read this one before, but I’ve totally forgotten it if I did, so it was a good experience reading it, re-read or not.
I’m sorry. My book review skills are apparently also still under re-development. Oh well.