Saturday, March 18, 2017

REVIEW:Ghosts Who Went to School

Ghosts Who Went to School
Author: Judith Spearing

I love old books. Any sort. And there are few places better to troll for great old books than thriftshops. A couple times a month I set out with $5 or so in my pocket to visit all the local thriftshops looking for interesting books. Some of my best finds are old, often out of print, middle grade books...the type I used to beg my parents to buy for me from those book order forms in elementary school. I am in total nostalgic bliss when I find a bunch of old Scholastic books. I bring them home and read them, then donate the books to my local library. They resell them at their book sales I'm sure....then someone else gets to enjoy them! The library makes money to buy new books and someone else gets to enjoy a great kid's book! Win-win!

My latest find is a Scholastic book, Ghosts Who Went to School, first printed in 1966, with a reprint in 1989. I checked and although the book is currently out of print, it is readily available to purchase online. I found prices ranging from 33 cents plus postage to $5.49 with free shipping. So, not expensive. My copy was well loved with three children's names scrawled on the inside of the front cover, dutifully crossed out when the book passed to a new owner. I hope they all enjoyed the story as much as I did!

Ghosts Who Went to School was written by Judith Spearing. The book has a follow up, The Museum House Ghosts. The Author just passed away in January 2017 and is fondly remembered for her two children's books.

The basics: Wilbur and Mortimer Temple are ghosts. They live in the old Temple House, the abandoned old house that everyone says is haunted (because it is!). Their mother and father live there too...a happy, ghost family. But, the boys are bored. Haunting the same house day after day can get a little tiresoome. They decide to go to school. Wilber joins Mrs. Hartley's third grade class. While he means well, having an invisible student in class can be disruptive. When Mrs. Hartley grades Wilbur's first spelling test she finds his spelling is atrocious so she knows even ghost boys need to be in school. They reach an agreement. Wilbur must be visible for roll call and while he is answering questions in class,but he can be invisible the rest of the time as long as it isn't disruptive to the other students. So Wilbur and Mortimer blend right in, despite the fact that they're ghosts. Can they also solve the problem of the local bank that wants to sell their house?

The story is well-written and incredibly cute. Wilbur's classmates accept him and like having him as part of their class. Mortimer enjoys school as well. They get into a bit of trouble, but never for being mean-spirited. They help non-athletic kids make points in basketball, assist classmates with math and do a bit of invisible gardening to scare bankers. Nothing mean or destructive. It's just a happy, age appropriate story. This would be a great book for kids in 2nd to 5th grade. Lots of humor and great lessons! The book has cute illustrations as well.

This is a book I think Scholastic should reprint again. Kids at my son's elementary would love this story! Now that I've reviewed it, my copy is going to our local library. I hope that soon it has a 4th name scrawled on the inside of the front cover and gets many more readings before it wears out! It definitely gave me a couple hours of joy. There's nothing like a happy, entertaining children's book! A fun, happy read!!

I'm now on the look-out for the second book -- The Museum House Ghosts. I want to read about the other adventures of Wilbur and Mortimer!

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