A Haunting in Williamsburg

Lou Kassem, Author
Lou Kassem, Author HarperCollins $4.99 (112p) ISBN 978-0-380-75892-0
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
Jayne Curtis, 13, is spending the summer with her Aunt Liz in Williamsburg, Va. The resulting loneliness is familiar: after failing to speak up against a classmate who claimed Jayne's essay as his own, she's been ostracized by the kids back home for her supposed attempt at plagiarism. One night, Jayne meets Sally, a teenaged ancestral ghost who's been inhabiting Liz's landmark home since 1781. Sally, too, had mishandled a crisis: when her brother, Jeremiah, was killed while crossing enemy lines to run a secret errand for her, he was wrongly branded a traitor. Sally remained silent, and her death shortly afterward kept the error from being corrected. Now she wants Jayne to restore the family name; in doing so, Jayne puts herself in grave danger. The narrative is marred by mannered dialogue and brief time-travel transitions that come out of nowhere. Moreover, some plot elements are convoluted and far-fetched, even for a ghost story. The novel overall is short on thrills and unlikely to hold readers' interest. Ages 8-12. (May)
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