Press:Henry Holt & Co Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (April 1, 2003)
Author Name:Burgess, Melvin
Award-winning author Melvin Burgess’s thrilling new ghost story for younger readers.David screamed and the ghostly boy opened his mouth and screamed back.
But his scream wasn’t the scream of a child—it was the scream of an old, old man.“Come back, come back,” screamed the ghost in his cracked old voice.
“Don’t leave me.
Don’t go!”Twelve-year-old David lives with his dad in a big old apartment building called Mahogany Villas.
When he discovers he can climb through the vent pipes in the building and get into other apartments and play tricks on people, he simply can’t resist.
His main victim is Robert Alveston, a forgetful man in his nineties who is afraid that he is losing his mind.
But David’s nasty pranks soon disturb more than his elderly neighbor.
One day he comes face-to-face with a ghost, at first friendly but more and more terrifying as it becomes clear that he has a particular grudge against Mr Alveston.
Soon both the old man and David are in great danger.
David is mischievous, alienated, small for his age, and curious.
His curiosity gets the better of him one day when he decides to explore the space behind a wall ventilation grille.
The path along the air duct system is scary and dark, but utterly mesmerizing.
As he squeezes through, snooping into neighbors' lives, he feels powerful; he can scare a little boy watching television or cast a voyeuristic gaze into a local teacher's private life.
The adventure turns to horror, however, when he discovers a ghostlike figure of a boy in the wall.
It terrorizes David and leads him to menace an elderly neighbor, old Mr.
Alveston, whose memory is fading.
Readers may wonder if the ghost is David's alter ego, but Burgess is more clever than that.
He's at his inventive best in tying the figure to Alveston's youth, and using David to bring the ghost and old man together, so Alveston can peacefully die.
Before that, however, David's remorse leads to a healing, transforming relationship with the old man.
An ultimately poignant adventure that will captivate British author Burgess' fans.
Anne O'MalleyCopyright © American Library Association.
All rights reserved
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Although large-print editions are targeted to the visually-impaired or dyslexic child, they can also be used by standard-vision readers.
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--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Melvin Burgess has written several highly acclaimed books for young adults, including Smack, which won the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.
Four of his other novels, including this one, have been runners-up for the Carnegie Medal.
Burgess lives in Manchester, England, with his wife and their children.
Children's Books,Science Fiction & Fantasy,Spine-Chilling Horror,Literature & Fiction
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