Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Childhood Thrills - (October, 2010)

Childhood Thrills is a feature that recalls books I read in my childhood or adolescence that were special to me or "haunt" me in some way.  I don't intend to re-read & review them, just simply share my memories and the feelings they evoke.  

Ghosts I have Been by Richard Peck

I walked out of my elementary school classroom and saw a poster for this book on the library door. My heart leapt. Would you look at that image?  A girl in a white nightgown, lit by candleight.  The smoke from the flame morphing into ghostly images.

I couldn’t wait till “Library Time” so I could get my hands on this book, but when I got there they didn’t have it in yet! I was so disappointed. I think I must have asked every time I went in there and I’m sure the staff wanted to strangle me.

Finally it came in!

Blossom Culp is the main character in this story set in the early 1900s. She has a mother who is a fortune teller, lives in a poor section of town and always seems to get into trouble. She is fun, spunky, smart and brave. I so wanted to be friends with her and have some of her personality rub off on me. Unlike Blossom I was shy and kept my mouth shut.

One day she declares that she has the gift of Second Sight. If I remember correctly it was to avoid getting into trouble. But then something odd happens. She does develop this gift and is able to see ghosts and past events. She starts to use her ability to help people, but of course gets into a little trouble along the way. She also befriends a little boy ghost who drowned on the Titanic and uncovers the mystery behind his death. Blossom even thwarts some phony spiritualists looking to take advantage of the citizens of her town.

I think what struck me most at the time was the excitement I felt seeing this image, the anticipation of the story it hinted at and knowing I was going to be able to read it.  It was similar to seeing a really good movie trailer.  The best part though, was the actual story. The characters, time period and events came alive for me. It gave me the ghostly thrill I was looking for in a realistic setting. Maybe it wouldn’t seem as clever if I re-read it now, but as a young reader I loved it and also felt it was not too “babyish.”  I wanted to be thrilled and spooked!  I remember this book exceeded my expectations and I absolutely loved it.    


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...