Sunday, March 9, 2008

Spotlight on Richard Peck

The Ghost Belonged to Me Summary: Alexander is having a hard enough time being a normal boy in school without his strange neighbor Blossom Culp trying to scare him by telling him his barn is haunted. One night, thinking Blossom is trying to spook him again, Alex goes into the barn and discovers a strange girl in wet clothes with a little dog. When the mysterious girl helps prevent a tragedy from occurring, suddenly everyone far and wide wants to see Alex and his ghost. Now Alex and Blossom must avoid the press and other gawkers in order to grant the girl's one request - a proper burial with her family in New Orleans.

Ghosts I Have Been Summary: When poor Blossom Culp saves the richest girl in town, Letty Shambaugh, from being beaten up, she is rewarded with new clothes and a visit to the Shambaugh home. Only problem is that Letty doesn't want spunky Blossom there. To make her visit more interesting, Blossom pretends to have ESP. But what turns out to be a prank actually unleashes Blossom's real psychic powers. Soon she is able to prevent a boy from getting run over by a motor car, a false medium from swindling the town, and even help a kindly old woman with her ghost problem. But things take a turn when Blossom travels, for a moment, into the past on board the Titanic. And there, she learns the terrible truth about a family everyone had once thought were heroes.

The Dreadful Future of Blossom Culp Summary: Blossom is starting out her first year of high school on bad footing. Everyone knows about her psychic powers, but everyone feels she's just lying or is crazy. Never one to worry about what other people think, Blossom agrees to be part of the school Halloween Haunted House as a fortune teller. However, when she goes with Alexander to take a look at the house to be used, she is suddenly transported, not back in time, but to the future. It's a very strange future where people used strange glowing boxes, grown girls wear their skirts short, and even worse, everything she knows and loves about her beloved Bluff City is gone.

Assessment: Without a doubt, Richard Peck is one of the finest writers for children of our day. Typically, he writes historical novels set at the turn of the century, and a few set just before or during World War II, with marvelous details, particularly about the automobiles, Hoosier speech, and way of life is quiet towns, typically in Indiana. However, I was glad to come across these novels because now I could find a reason to include Richard Peck on my blog. Don't expect a lot of suspenseful action; instead, expect rich and wonderful humor such as a great Halloween prank against mischievous boys who want to overturn an outhouse and are instead scared out of their wits by a made-up Blossom. I hope these books will also lead readers to Peck's other wonderful novels.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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