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Orphaned by the death of their parents and bereft by the sudden death of their older brother Tom, nine-year-old Frances and three-year-old Harry are comforted by Tom's ghost, who helps them in difficult situations at home with their aunt and uncle and at school.
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Allan Ahlberg's many award-winning and best-selling children's stories include Peek-a-Boo!, Each Peach, Pear, Plum, The Jolly Postman, The Giant Baby, and The Better Brown Stories.From School Library Journal:
Grade 6 Up-Working-class England in 1956 is the setting for this story. The protagonist is 9 when the book opens, but she narrates the events from her 51st year looking back. Tragedy strikes orphaned Frances Fogarty when her 10-year-old brother is struck by a milk-float and dies. Then the boy appears at his own funeral, and only Frances and her three-year-old brother, Harry, can see him. Tom does his best to protect and to guide Frances past her strict, often mean aunts and a bully at school. However, after being punished for stealing, she runs away with Harry in tow and ends up sinking in the canal. Tom saves her and things improve at home. A few years later, Tom's dog dies and the two of them disappear together. So much happens that it is hard to cover all the bases. The writing is excellent, and the characters and time period are nicely constructed and skillfully evoked. However, the intended audience is difficult to define. The story is very short, but the vocabulary is intense. It's a ghost story that isn't scary and an affecting family tale that centers on the supernatural. It's likely to be a shelf sitter.
Timothy Capehart, Leominster Public Library, MA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # M-0670892904
Book Description Condition: New. Orphaned by the death of their parents and bereft by the sudden death of their older brother Tom, nine-year-old Frances and three-year-old Harry are comforted by Tom's ghost, who helps them in difficult situations at home with their aunt and uncle and at school. Seller Inventory # 9780670892907