Helen V. Griffith Cougar

ISBN 13: 9780688163372

Cougar

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9780688163372: Cougar
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Nickel just wants to play soccer with his new friends but is bullied by the nasty Robbo and his gang, until a horse ghost named Cougar and an enchanted bicycle come to his aid.

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About the Author:

Helen V. Griffith lives in Wilmington, Delaware. In Her Own Words...

"What I like about writing books is that I can sit and think about things that most adults never think about, and it's okay because I'm a children's book writer."

"I can imagine what my dog is dreaming about or what she and my cat discuss when I'm not around. I can design a time machine or make up a tall tale, and nobody says, "Grow up, Helen"--because I'm a children's book writer.

"I was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, and I work in the family business. We're distributors of roofing and siding materials, and I've never yet gotten a story inspiration from that. Most of my ideas seem to come from dogs I have known.

"My grandfather was part of our family and used to read to me a lot-the Sunday funny papers, turn-of-the-century primers, and The Arabian Nights. When I could read for myself, I read fairy tales, dog and horse stories, and comic books by the dozen.

"I started writing poems and the beginnings of novels by the age of seven or eight, but I was forty before I thought about writing for publication.

"For fun, I like reading (especially Anthony Trollope) and birdwatching, and I've just started learning to play old-time fiddle!"

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-7-In this unusual story, a phantom horse, a school bully, and a bike with a mind of its own help to change a boy's life from that of an outsider to a school hero. When Nickel, his Aunt Starla, and her husband, Joe, go to live with Joe's parents on their farm, Nickel is fascinated by a black horse named Cougar that died in a barn fire and that only he and Joe's father can see. At school, the boy attracts the attention of Robbo, the school bully and top soccer player. Nickel also happens to be an excellent soccer player, and, not wanting to share the spotlight, Robbo goes out of his way to challenge and threaten the new boy. As the rivalry escalates, the spirit of the mysterious horse seems to become reincarnated into an old bicycle that is determined to protect Nickel. In a final confrontation, the bike defeats Robbo and his buddies and becomes a school legend. Nickel is an appealing hero who is trying to improve his life and find a place where he belongs. Introducing the supernatural into an otherwise realistic story will be satisfying to children who enjoy this type of twist. Others will wish that Nickel had been able to find a way to deal with the school bully without supernatural intervention. A fast-paced read in which fantasy and reality are compellingly intertwined.
Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Helen V. Griffith
Published by Greenwillow (1999)
ISBN 10: 0688163378 ISBN 13: 9780688163372
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