Hardcover: 160 pages
Ted's big problem is not his annoying brother Zach, his social studies report on Luxembourg or his stuck-up cousin Jackie. He has ghosts in his house. His five-year-old sister, Vicki, is the first to see them; she starts keeping a hammer under her pillow for protection.
12 year old Ted Beatson lives in a 150 year old ancestral home with his parents, older brother Zach and little sister Vicki. The home, which has been handed down through the generations, and is located near the Erie Canal in upstate New York. It was also once used by the Underground Railroad.
When Vicki begins talking to a supposed imaginary friend, Ted quickly learns the friend is actually a ghost named Marella and there is another ghost - the bad lady - who appears to be after Marella. In trying to research the ghost origins, Ted uncovers a family secret, leading him to a connection between past and present.
Although this is a fictional book, it does have many interesting facts concerning the Civil War, the Underground Railroad and the history of the Erie Canal.
This book is spooky but not super scary, so younger children will also enjoy reading this tale. It is suspenseful, funny, clever and has a tad bit of sadness. A great book for children who are interested in reading scary stories that aren't too scary.
You can also check out my reviews on these Vivan Vande Velde books:
All Hallow's Eve