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When fourteen-year-old Drew and her mute younger brother come to live with their father's estranged relatives after their parents' sudden death, they discover that the house is haunted by ghosts and a deadly family secret
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Stephanie S. Tolan's earliest memories involve books -- those that were read to her and those she read to herself, often late at night with a flashlight under the covers. She always thought there was a special magic in the little black marks on paper that could turn into whole worlds and real people. Born in Ohio and raised in Wisconsin, she wrote her first story in the fourth grade. It was thrilling to discover she could make the magic herself, and she decided then and there to be a writer.
Other ambitions came and went, but writing stayed on, and she majored in creative writing at Purdue University, then went on to a Master's Degree in English. Marriage and the sudden addition to her life of three young stepsons, and then a son, forced writing into the nooks and crannies, but she wrote poetry and plays for adults as she taught college English. Her husband's career in professional theatre moved the Tolan family around the country, and writing was a comforting constant. In the mid-seventies, Stephanie began working in the Poets-in-the-Schools program in Pennsylvania. Her first group of students were fourth and fifth graders, and she found among them a new generation of intense readers, still using the flashlight-under-the-covers trick.
"They brought back to me that special reading joy that most adults -- even the readers among us -- have lost, and I wanted to try my hand at writing for those kids, so like myself at their age and yet so different."
The difference, she felt, was less in the children themselves than in the fast-changing world they lived in. Her writing for children and young adults, beginning with Grandpa -- And Me in 1978, has reflected that contemporary world. Tolan's suspense novel A Good Courage looks at the dark side of life in a fictional cult/commune. Plague Year is a harrowing story of hatred, fear and harassment in a small town high school, and the violence eventually spreads into the community. With Who's There? and The Face in the Mirror, Tolan ventures into the spine-tingling realm of the contemporary ghost story. Save Halloween! tells of conflicts faced by Johnna Filkins, daughter of an evangelical Christian minister, when her understanding of democracy collides with her family's wish to impose their beliefs on their hometown. And Ordinary Miracles revisits the Filkins family, this time following Mark, one of the twin future preachers, who meets a Nobel laureate and must find a way to reconcile his faith with the world of contemporary science.
Stephanie Tolan is also well known as an advocate for extremely bright children. She co-authored the award-winning nonfiction book, Guiding the Gifted Child, and has written many articles about the challenges gifted "asynchronous" children and adults face as they find a way to fit into their world. She lectures throughout the country to audiences of parents, educators and counselors attempting to find ways to meet the children's needs. Her experiences with these "amazing, off-the-charts" young people inspired the themes of Welcome to the Ark, a powerful novel about four brilliant young misfits in a world teetering on destruction. The first volume of a projected trilogy, Ark is followed by Flight of the Raven, due out in the fall of 2001.
Mrs. Tolan currently lives on a little lake in a big woods in Charlotte, NC with her husband, one dog, one cat, two fish and plenty of outdoor creatures.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5-8-A first-rate thriller. Drew Broderick, 14, and her 8-year-old brother, Evan, are trying to put their lives back together after a freak gas explosion kills their parents. Drew desperately wants a home and a family again, and the boy has not spoken since the accident. Thus, she is excited about the discovery of a long lost aunt and the family home, Rose Hill, where they will live. It isn't long before Drew is knee deep in the mystery surrounding her father's break with his family and the accidental deaths of his young brother and stepmother. A new friend, Will, and Evan, who finally breaks through his grief-imposed silence, help Drew to rid Rose Hill of its hateful ghost. Readers will care about and identify with these characters. The plot is logical and well paced, and the dialogue is right on target. The identity of a ghost in Evan's room is a completely unexpected plot twist that only adds to the tension created throughout this book. Tolan ably demonstrates that the essence of a good spine-tingler lies not in gory details, but in the absolute terror involved in walking past a closed door or down a dark hall.
Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Beech Tree Books, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0688152899
Book Description Beech Tree Books, 1997. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0688152899
Book Description Condition: New. New. Looks like an interesting title!. Seller Inventory # M-0688152899