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The Ghost Box by Catherine Fisher
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The Ghost Box (2008)

by Catherine Fisher

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Synopsis: When Sarah discovers that the ancient tree outside her window is haunted by the ghost of a boy, she is both terrified and fascinated. The ghost boy gives her a beautiful old box and begs her to find a key to open it. But soon, Sarah's pesky goth step-brother Matt is sticking his nose into her business. Can Sarah find a key to the box without Matt figuring out what's going on?

My Thoughts: This book was written specifically for middle-school-aged reluctant readers. I'd say the interest level / maturity is for a 10 to 12 year old, but it is second grade reading level. For that target audience, I think this is a wonderful novel! The plot is just the type of story I loved reading when I was in the 4th grade, and the difficult dynamics between Sarah and her step-brother are something that a lot of kids this age will relate to. And, these dynamics end with a message of cooperation, teamwork, and new understanding. So there's a great message to the story, too. If you are struggling to find books that are age-appropriate for your dyslexic child, I highly recommend this book. In fact, I wish there were a lot more books like this available. The more our reluctant readers enjoy their books, the more likely they are to become readers.

See my full review at my blog: Resistance is Futile ( )
  The_Hibernator | Mar 16, 2014 |
I have two reviewing hats. One takes a look at books from my own personal perspective; and the other is as a mom and 'book pusher'. I'm wearing the latter hat in the case of Catherine Fisher's THE GHOST BOX.

THE GHOST BOX is being offered, according to Stoke Books(the publisher) as a Hi-Lo book. This means that it is meant to appeal to Teen readers that are reading at levels lower than their peers. Sort of a jump-starter to get people hooked on reading. (Problem may be lack-of-motivation or dyslexia or other.)

The Hi-Lo aspect explains the brevity of THE GHOST BOX and the precise form that Ms. Fisher has used to construct the story. There's enough description, but not too much. And every chapter ends with a cliff hanger of sorts, so that we're all motivated to find out what happens next.

If you aren't the target market for this style then you can be left wondering what's up with Ms. Catherine. This isn't like her other books. And indeed, it isn't. The plot is more straight forward, and the ending seems to come more quickly than expected. But that's the point.

Personally, I liked this story and I think it should appeal to Tweens, Middle-graders and some young adults/adults. The book is a very quick read and should be thought of as a short story for more accomplished readers.

Lexile HL520L reading level. ( )
  PamFamilyLibrary | Mar 2, 2014 |
Sarahs mor gifter om sig. In kommer Gareth med sonen Jack som är gothare. De gillar inte varandra. Men S ser en tavla på gården målad för länge sen och den får liv. Det börjar bli ruggigt. Bra och spännande. Sånt händer inte ...men ändå? ( )
  chawes | Jul 18, 2010 |
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"The bad dreams began the day Sarah sae the face in the painting. The strange tree, the silver box and the ghost boy - they are all connected, but how? The ghost says he needs Sarah's help, but it seems her step-brother Matt is out to stop her, and he has others on his side. Who can Sarah trust?"-- Cover verso.… (more)

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