I just recently finished reading Cynthia Defelice’s 167 page mystery book, The Ghost of Fossil Glen. This book was published in 1998 and I read this book because my friend recommended it to me and I like mystery books so I thought it sounded really good. Cynthia Defelice started writing children’s books in 1987 and says her mother sparked her interest in books. She has two stepchildren and 4 grandchildren and lives in New York. Overall I really liked this book, it was easy to read and there was some suspense and some of the problems seemed real.
In this book the main character Allie Nichols believes there is a ghost girl trying to tell her something. It all started when Allie was exploring for fossil in Fossil Glen when she falls and is now stuck hanging off a cliff but she hears a voice telling her what to do. “Let go” the voice would say “Let go before you are too tired and you fall, you can slide down and grab the next branch.” The voice helps Allie to safety but there’s a big problem no one believes her about this voice. It possesses Allie and makes her say crazy things, she gets weird feelings, and leaves her a notebook where the girl tries to communicate. Her friend Karen calls her a liar and her parents tell her she has a very active imagination. Dub is the only one who listens to Allie and doesn’t think she is completely crazy. He helps Allie try to figure out who this ghost girl is and throughout the book they find little clues that make you think, is this something that has to do with the ghost girl?
This book reminds me a little of Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn because it was also about a ghost girl haunting another girl and making one of the characters very interested in finding out what this ghost girl wants. I liked the way the author put in little clues giving Allie and Dub ideas about this girl haunting Allie because it makes you want to keep reading and see what will happen next. I understood how if her friend didn’t think she was a liar I don’t think she would be working with Dub to figure out what was going on and I don’t think Allie would be determined.
I was interested in this passage because Allie gets a clue about this girl who has been coming to her. Personally I would be terrified if this ever happened to me but Allie is really interested in finding out who this girl is.
“ When they had finished talking and eating, Allie excused herself to do her homework. She shut her bedroom door so Michael wouldn’t come in and bother her. She wanted complete privacy to concentrate on her first journal entry. Slowly, she walked to her desk, anticipating the thrilling, disquieting feeling she’d had earlier. But she felt nothing unusual.
Relieved, and a little disappointed, she sat down to write. She wanted to write something that would dazzle Mr. Henry with her creativity and brilliance. But her brain felt empty as she looked at the clean, blank journal pages. Nothing at all came to mind.
She looked at her pen. It was an ordinary ballpoint. Not, she thought, very inspiring, definitely not a proper pen for writing in something momentous. She closed the book, got up, went down the hall to the room her parents used for an office, and rummaged in the desk drawer until she came upon her mother’s fountain pen and the bottle of peacock-blue ink. That, she thought with satisfaction, was what she needed. When she got back to her room, the door was closed. “Michael?” she said, stepping into the room. “Are you in here?” No answer. “Come on Michael. Quit fooling around. I’ve got homework to do.” She checked the only two places where he could be hiding, the closet and under the bed, but there was no sign of Michael.
Her heart lurched. The book was open. She was sure she had closed it before leaving the room. Then she saw the golden-edged pages of her journal flutter just a little bit. She looked toward the window. It was shut. A slight breeze came through the doorway, but it wasn’t strong enough to open the heavy leather cover and blow the book pages about.
The air in the bedroom felt chilly. Allie’s eyes fell on the journal, open to the first page. Legs trembling, she walked closer.
The page is no longer blank. Written on the top in a thin, quavering hand where the words:
I am L
Allie stared at the page in wonder. The “L” trailed off in a streak of ink, as if the writers hand had been interrupted suddenly, or as if the effort of writing had been too great. But who could it have been?
Taking a deep breath, she told herself that there was one obvious explanation: the words had been there before and she simply hadn’t seen them. She recalled looking through every page of the book as she talked with Dub on the phone. Had she somehow missed the first page? She didn’t think so.
She looked again at the message. Who was “L”? She had no idea. Pages 31-32” This is an important part of the book because this is the first time Allie finds out something about this girl and that she is real and wasn’t hearing things.
I would rate this book an 8 out of 10 because I really enjoyed reading it and I am definitely going to read the next book.