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Dial-A-Ghost
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About the Author

Eva Ibbotson, born Maria Charlotte Michelle Wiesner (21 January 1925 - 20 October 2010), was an Austrian-born British novelist, known for her children's books. Some of her novels for adults have been successfully reissued for the young adult market in recent years. For the historical novel Journey to the River Sea (Macmillan, 2001), she won the Smarties Prize in category 9-11 years, garnered unusual commendation as runner up for the Guardian Prize, and made the Carnegie, Whitbread, and Blue Peter shortlists. She was a finalist for the 2010 Guardian Prize at the time of her death. Her last book, The Abominables, was one of eight books on the longlist for the same award in 2012.

Reviews

Gr 3-6-When a perfectly respectable family of ghosts finds itself homeless, its members are horrified to have to take up residence in a knicker shop (think Wonderbras). Luckily, an agency for the placement of homeless ghosts finds a lovely convent for them to haunt, but they are accidentally sent to Helton Hall instead, which is inhabited by one small and lonely orphan. The two hideous spirits who were supposed to be sent there to scare the boy to death (courtesy of Oliver's scheming, evil uncle) are mistakenly sent to the convent. But all turns out well and the evil uncle ends up a ghost in the knicker shop, tearing merchandise apart with his teeth. The irresistible premise of this story is that if you happen to become a ghost, you go on pretty much as you did before, but with tastes a tad more macabre. The book is filled with a large and delightful cast of characters, some made of ectoplasm and some made of flesh. No one could be as frightening as the de Bone ghosts, who festoon themselves with rotting gobbets of meat and a ghostly python, except maybe Uncle Fulton, who wants to take over Helton Hall. The Wilkinsons, from the bewhiskered, umbrella-wielding Grandma to little Adopta, are the perfect ghostly family for Oliver. The black-and-white illustrations have an eerie charm. Don't miss this phantasmally funny fantasy.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Once again, Ibbotson (Which Witch; Island of the Aunts) dishes up an irresistible brew of magical high jinks and adventure in this tongue-in-cheek post-WWII ghost story set in Britain and starring two families of displaced spooks. Miss Pringle and Mrs. Mannering, founders of the Adopt-A-Ghost agency, are delighted when they find homes for two of their hard-to-place clients, the Wilkinson family of five (who died all at once when a bomb hit their house) and the Shriekers, a pair of maimed and foul-smelling aristocrats who, after suffering the loss of their only child, aim to rid the world of as many living youngsters as possible. Due to a clerical error, the spirits wind up in the wrong homes. The Shriekers haunt an abbey filled with mild-mannered nuns, and the Wilkinsons move into the Snodde-Brittle estate, where their two evil hosts plan to scare to death the youngest heir, a kindhearted orphan named Oliver. The comedy of errors becomes more complicated by the minute as murderous plots are foiled, ghost busters are hired and the identity of the Shriekers' long-lost daughter is uncovered (astute readers will figure it out before the Shriekers do). Hawkes's whimsical drawings perfectly capture the book's slapstick action and sly humor. Readers will be highly amused as disjointed pieces of the puzzle start to neatly interlock. Ages 8-12. (Aug.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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