Friday, September 25, 2009

43 Old Cemetery Road by Kate Klise

The book that I grabbed just before taking public transit yesterday was Samantha Harvey's The Wilderness. As I opened the novel, which is about a man with Alzheimer's, I realized I'd made a mistake. I wished I had brought Goethe's Theory of Colours with me instead. I read two chapters of The Wilderness and then gave up. There is no question that it is beautifully written: it was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and was on the long list for the Man Booker this year. The problem is that I wasn't in the right sort of mood for literary fiction.

Sometimes the right book is a goofy spoof of ghost stories, like Dying to Meet You, Book 1 of 43 Old Cemetery Road. The series is written by Kate Klise and illustrated by her sister, M. Sarah Klise. The story, told mostly in letters, is about a cranky children's book author, I. B. Grumply, who gets more than he bargained for when he rents an old Victorian mansion in Ghastly, Illinois. An 11-year-old boy, Seymour Hope and his cat, Shadow, are also living in the house. And, of course, there is also a ghost. Good fun and bad puns. Grades 4 - 6.

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