There’s something in the Whispering Willows. Andy, Stewart and Zach are sure it’s a ghost. Amateur ghost hunters, they set up equipment hoping to get pictures and videos of the elusive spirit. Finally, luck is with them and they see a boy about their age, obviously a ghost.
Imagine their surprise when Ally, Kendall, Maggie and Krista quietly announce that they’ve seen a ghost too, only their ghost is a little girl! Together, the children figure out how to contact the ghosts and find out their story.
This well-crafted ghost story is intended for middle range YA readers, but has enough mild chills for older readers too. Even I got a tingle when the ghost first appears and talks to the children. It’s not too spooky for timid readers and is a great adventure tale too.
The Ghost of Whispering Willow is a story of love, mystery, family and friendship. Readers enjoy the ride as the children do their best to help Elias, the ghost, and his little sister, Margaret-Rose. Who knew ghosts even need help? But they do and it’s a dangerous situation for all involved.
The ghosts are also incredibly well delineated. They sound as if they are from a different time. Even though they’ve existed through the years, their thoughts and perceptions are those of less modern people.
Edition #30 – February 10, 2013
THE GHOST OF WHISPERING WILLOW
Stewart suddenly stopped dead in his tracks and grabbed Andy’s arm, “Stop,” he said, but so softly Andy hadn’t heard him. He tugged at Andy’s sleeve and said it again, stringing out the word. “S- t-o-p. Look!” Stewart pointed toward the largest willow tree in the middle of the willow clump.
Andy stopped squinted his eyes and stared toward the willows. His mouth dropped open as Stewart squatted down and pulled him down toward the ground. They continued to stare in disbelief; they couldn’t believe what they were seeing. Their hearts were pounding so loudly that neither of them was sure whose heart was beating the loudest. Nervous beyond belief, the boys could barely breathe, let alone talk.
“Oh, my G—” was all Stewart managed to say as the lump that had formed in his stomach jumped to his throat and stopped him mid-sentence. Andy never spoke; clasping his hands over his mouth, he nudged Stewart and motioned for him to get lower on the ground. Slowly, both boys hit the dirt, not once taking their eyes off of what was unfolding before them.
Merely a few feet away was the little girl—the ghost the girls must have seen. Her image was so clear that it was frightening, but her demeanor was so childlike that she wasn’t scary at all. Her laughter could be heard, though it was faint. She wore a mid-length dress, with stockings and laced boots. Her dress had a covering on top of it, white or lighter, and looked as if it was layered with ruffles, but the boys couldn’t tell for sure. They didn’t dare speak, fearful they would alert her or startle her or something. Her hair was dark, maybe brown, or, at least, it looked brown in the moonlight. It appeared to be braided on each side, though the bonnet covering the top of her head made it difficult to see. The braids that hung on either side of the bonnet were quite long, and the boys could see them bouncing and swinging about the little girl’s shoulders as she played. She was holding and playing with what looked like a doll. It must have been the one that the girls had seen and described to them. The little girl’s voice, though muffled, could be heard. It was soft and almost charming in an odd sort of way.
The boys quickly glanced at each other as they listened to her tiny voice. She was talking to her doll, and her doll was talking back to her via her own lips. The little girl suddenly stopped, and the boys didn’t dare breathe, not knowing why she had suddenly stopped playing with her doll. Stewart thought he actually might pass out, since he felt as if he’d held his breath for too long, and Andy was just shaking. Had she seen them? Surely not!
It was the strangest thing, being scared to death and wanting to flee, yet at the very same time not wanting to leave the Willows or have the little girl leave either. They couldn’t take their eyes off her; she was fascinating. They couldn’t stop staring, bewildered at the ghost child playing before them—though she was hardly a child, at least anymore, was she?…
She has just completed a graphic novel, adapted to a reader-theater, for the Texas Municipal Education Center, which will be distributed as part of the Driving on the Right Side of the Road Program (D.R.S.R), about teen driving safety.
“My intent with the Mischief series is to write fairy tales in a delightful new way. For this reason, unlike the original fairy tales, you will not find any scary characters in the mushroom patch, purposely written that way. Just lovely descriptive tales, with gentle life lessons entwined throughout.”