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Determined to scare her mute little brother Nelson into speaking, Jenna, with the help of her new friend, Angel, takes him to a nearby marble factory, the reported home of a ghost with goosebumps.
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Grade 3-6-In this novel, Woodruff takes on ghosts, asthma, a selectively mute five-year-old, and an aging mentally ill man. It works. Without a hint of the saccharine, she tells the story of Jenna, 11, and her newfound best friend, Angel Always. The two meet during Jenna and younger brother Nelson's summer-long visit to their aunt and uncle's farm in West Virginia. The girls decide to dedicate their summer to giving Nelson the surprise of his life-the one that will make him finally speak. The drama unfolds as the girls and Zachary, a weekend visitor, learn that the farm is built upon a haunted marble factory. Thinking that the factory's ghost will get at least a scream out of Nelson, the three conspire to take him there. Events follow quickly as Nelson disappears; Zack suffers an asthma attack; the ghost turns out to be crazy old Irwin Loop, whose father once owned the factory; and a near-death experience for Jenna forces Nelson to tell the rescue team where to find her. Much like Woodruff's The Summer I Shrank My Grandmother (1990) and Awfully Short for the Fourth Grade (1989, both Holiday), this is a feel-good novel with a fast-paced, well-written story. It's about strong friendships and lots of love between a brother and sister. Readers are sure to have goosebumps rising on their own arms at the end.
Lynn Cockett, Nutley Public Library, NJ
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 4-6. Eleven-year-old Jenna and her five-year-old brother Nelson, who doesn't talk, are visiting their aunt and uncle in West Virginia. Jenna is befriended by Angel Always (named after a soap-opera character), and the adventure begins. Angel convinces Jenna that Nelson will talk if he gets the right "shock." Add to that a 12-year-old boy with "great hair," a haunted marble factory, a mysterious disappearance, and an accidental fire. The result is a novel just begging to be booktalked. With believable characterizations, humorous conversations, and smooth narrative flow, this will be one title that grade-school kids will tell each other to read. Janice Del Negro
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Book Description Holiday House, 1993. Library Binding. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110823410358
Book Description Holiday House, 1993. Library Binding. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0823410358
Book Description Holiday House, 1993. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0823410358