She can't believe she has to move again after her mom's break-up with the latest boyfriend. Now they're broke and they'll have to spend the winter in Uncle Wes's creepy summerhouse in Cape May, New Jersey.
And the place is crawling with ghosts.
From the spiteful teenager who mistakes Lily for her high school nemesis to the restless spirit of her eccentric Uncle Max, Lily is haunted by a host of unhappy phantoms. But why are they here? And what do they want?With the help of some mysterious clues, Lily and her new friend, local boy Vaz, uncover a sinister plot. If they don't foil the villainous plan in time, they may end up doing some eternal haunting of their own.
Awards & Reviews:
From School Library Journal
"A fast-paced, comic tale."
Detroit Free Press
"Sure to delight the reader ... will tickle readers' funny bones."
Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Satisfying. A good bet for girls ages 10 through 14."
"A spirited novel.. Readers will fly through the pages."
Discussion Questions and Ideas:
Write own Ghost stories and use the "Ghost Checklist" in this site for self assessment/reflection. Lesson plan available at: www.readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view_printer_friendly.asp?id=225
Ghosts and Fear in Language Arts: Lesson Plan at: www.readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=237
Make up clues for several groups. The clue for each group led to another clue somewhere in the library. When the students found the second clue, it led them to a mystery book on the shelf. They pulled it and sit down until everyone has finished. Read the titles of all the books found and ask what these books have in common. Show students a poster with criteria for a good mystery book:
Vinton Studios will make a movie of Laura Ruby's next book, The Wing and the Wall (due out in 2006) - news.awn.com/index.php?ltype=cat&category1=Films&newsitem_no=13355TAPS: The Atlantic Paranormal Society (www.the-atlantic-paranormal-society.com/) The Atlantic paranormal Society is the organization of Rhode Island ghost hunters, as seen on "Ghost Hunters" on the SciFi Network.
About the Author:
Originally from the East Coast, Laura Ruby now lives in Chicago. Her short fiction for adults has appeared in numerous literary magazines, including Other Voices, The Florida Review, Literal Latte, Sycamore Review and Nimrod. Currently, she is working on several projects, including a sequel to LILY'S GHOSTS.
A Letter from the Author:
I'm supposed to tell you about my novel, Lily's Ghosts: how funny, how scary, how very extraordinary it is. And I will. But first I'm going to tell you about my friend Andrea's house.
When I was in college, I spent many weekends at Andrea's shore house in Cape May, NJ. The house is a beautiful Victoria with an absurd number of rooms, lots of fancy furniture, and at least one ghost. At Andrea's, the phones rang over and over, workmen hired to paint or repair things would refuse to return on account of all the crazy noises and the cold spots, and Andrea's brothers complained that they'd heard someone running pell-mell through the hallways when no one else was there. They'd even found a set of footprints in the dust on the stairs to the attic - footprints that went up, but didn't come down.
Every time I stayed with Andrea's family, I harbored a secret wish that something funny and creepy and fabulous might happen to me. (Sadly, though, nothing ever did.)
Years later, while on vacation at the Jersey shore, I thought about the ghost stories I loved as a child and decided to write one. Not just any old ghost story, however, but a ghost story that was kind of funny but also kind of scary and mysterious and sad, and possibly one with a little romance. And then I remembered Andrea's house. Thus, Lily's Ghosts was born.
It is the story of thirteen-year-old Lily Crabtree, furious to find herself forced to move again after her mother's break up with her latest loser boyfriend. Stuck at her Uncle Wes's musty Victorian in Cape May for the winter, Lily soon discovers that there's something truly odd about the little shore town ... a place where dolls walk about by themselves, the living can't be trusted, and the dead can't remember and can't forget.
In short, this is a book about ghosts. The "boo" kind, of course, but also the real kind that haunt us - memories of those we've loved and lost, our hurts and our fears, what we've left unsaid. It is funny and creepy and fabulous things that can happen to thirteen-year-old girls when they face their fears, finally meet a boy with some potential, and find a place to call home. It is as close as I could get to the book I wanted to write, and it is exactly the kind of book I would have wanted to read.
I hope you enjoy it.