Jerry's Ghosts: The Mystery of the Blind Tower

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9780027780352: Jerry's Ghosts: The Mystery of the Blind Tower

Lonely and bored with his summer at his grandmother's in Wisconsin, Jerry finally meets some friends at a local museum and finds that they are ghosts from one hundred years ago summoned by their uncle, who experiments with immortality.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-7-- Jerry, 11, is shuttled off to live in tiny East Bent with his grandmother for three months. Late one afternoon he sees two children, surrounded by a faint glow, near the entrance to an old museum. They flee in terror when he speaks to them and literally vanish. Later, on a class trip to the museum, he sees them in a portrait that is over 100 years old. He also finds a note from them inviting him back to play. The children are Edward and Mattie, ethereal beings frozen in time by their crazed Uncle Ezekiel, who has discovered a partial path to immortality. Now that a ``normal boy'' has seen the ghosts, Ezekiel's secret laboratory and experiments are in danger of being exposed. This puts Jerry in grave danger. With his help, Edward and Mattie escape the evil man's clutches. What begins as a spooky ghost story does not quite deliver as the plot unwinds. Jerry never actually confronts the mad uncle, and even his harrowing climb up the museum's tower to cut the wires to Ezekiel's machinery fails to produce much suspense. Jerry is likable and believable, but the idea of dead children living on for decades is hard to swallow. Uncle Ezekiel is the scariest character here, but he is not developed well enough to produce many chills. The book does not measure up to the supernatural thrills of John Bellairs, Pam Conrad's Stone words (HarperCollins, 1990), or Mary Downing Hahn's Wait Till Helen Comes (Clarion, 1986) .
-Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Jerry, 11, glimpses two child-size apparitions at the local museum and is instantly intrigued. When they ``summon'' him to be their playmate, he falls a little in love with the older ghost, Mattie, and is charmed by her smaller brother, Edward. Lonely Jerry at first intends to become famous for discovering the ghosts; then his crush on Mattie makes him realize that she needs someone to take care of her and Edward; finally, he understands that they have other worlds to which they must tend. In the meantime, he finds himself involved with their sinister uncle, who, in his quest for immortality, is responsible for their deaths and needs Jerry for further experiments. This slight ghost story is redeemed by the well-developed characters of all three children and by Jerry's relationship with Mattie and Edward. His motives run a tremendous range, all naively appropriate for a boy his age, and give the story scope. The evil uncle escapes--to a sequel?--but there's a satisfying sweet resolution. (Fiction. 8-11) -- Copyright 1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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