This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Book Review: The Ghost's Grave by Peg Kehret

This is a book that CJ wanted me to read. She initially bought it for herself at her school's book fair, but for whatever reason (maybe too scary?) she decided she didn't want to read it anymore and gave it to me as a present.

Of course, I didn't hesitate! Well, it took me awhile to actually take it and read it. I forgot about it but I finally remembered.

Not only did I want to read it at of basic interest in the book, but the idea that my daughter wanted me to read something she initially thought she was interested in. I remember reading books at her age -- devouring them like crazy -- and whenever my dad read one of my books, it made me feel, I don't know, like my interests really mattered? Like I wasn't just a kid? It made me feel GOOD that I could discuss a book with my dad. That he genuinely cared about my ideas *and* that he shared my passion for reading (who, along with my mom, I owe credit to for my liken to books).

So I wanted to 'recreate' this opportunity as the parent. And although she hadn't read the book, I did share the story with her and Mi-Mi, which then somewhat encouraged her to say "well, maybe I will read this book".

The book is quite cute and sweet and a great novel for CJ's age and beyond. This would have been exactly the kind of book I would have bought from the Scholastic Book order form for my own enjoyment, so at 39 years of age, I could still enjoy reading something like this.

Josh is a young 12 year old boy who suddenly loses his summer at home playing baseball, to spending it with an old aunt in another aunt not by blood, but by his step-father's genes.

What happens to Josh that summer is more than any baseball game could provide: he bonds with a mother cat (Mrs. Stray) and her three kittens, he sees his aunt shoot a bat down and enjoyed the best cakes ever made in the universe, and most of all, he befriends Willie the coal miner, a ghost who past away in a coal mining disaster in the early 1900s.

Willie has one request he's had for over a century: to reunite his leg bone (that he lost in the explosion) with the rest of his body. The leg was buried in the town's cemetery; his body somewhere else.

And since Josh is one of very few humans that can see and hear him, he begs Josh to do this. Josh reluctantly agrees and the task to do this brings other surprises that I'll leave for others to enjoy.

I really enjoyed this -- great characters and a wonderful sense of humor that is very real. It was SO MUCH better than the past couple of books I've read and I'm now looking forward to my next book, our book club choice of The Eyre Affair.

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