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Jean Booker.
Toronto, ON: Overlea House, 1987.
144pp., paper, $3.95.
ISBN 0-7172-2271-3. cloth, $15.95. ISBN 0-7172-2280-2. CIP.

Subject Heading:
Mystery and detective stories.

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11

Reviewed by Ted Monkhouse.

Volume 16 Number 3
1988 May

Booker has a gift for writing for children; that is why she has also published in the Canadian Children's Annual. She is able to get into a child's psyche and see through his or her eyes. She is able to portray family relationships realistically. She captures the day-to-day conversation convincingly in contemporary idioms.

Young Glen and his older stepsister Chris, are just learning to cope in their new family arrangement. Their parents are like all busy, working parents. They all live across the ravine from the now vacant and supposedly haunted Baggot house, which is in the process of being sold by Glen's mother, a real estate agent. A mysterious man lurks about the neighbourhood. The supposed owner from England appears, ostensibly to look over the inherited house and furnishings. An antique car, cigar ashes, ghosts at the windows, and a garage sale all combine to build a real thriller leading to the kidnapping of young Glen by his father and his new wife.

This novel for nine-to-eleven-year-olds will provide an exciting rainy-day read. lt will also grip a reluctant reader. It is a good find for those searching for high interest / low vocabulary material for older children. A sure bet for the junior grades.

Ted Monkhouse, Guelph, ON.
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