The Ghost Belonged to Me

The Ghost Belonged to Me

by Richard Peck

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Only Alexander knows why the barn is haunted—-and by what
When Alexander notices an eerie light coming out of the barn,. He thinks his friend Blossom Culp is trying to spook him. But strange things really are happening there. Slimy footprints appear out of nowhere, and whimpering sounds float down from the hayloft. And when he ventures into the barn in the dark of night, his breath catches in his throat. Suddenly Blossom's words come back to him: "You can make contact with the Unseen...." Now there's a girl ghost standing right in front of him, telling him of great danger ahead. But is there time for Alexander to act on her warning? 

Blossom Culp #1
“Peck’s blending of mystery and humor makes an unusual and entertaining ghost story.” —Booklist, starred review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101142509
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 09/01/1997
Series: Blossom Culp Series
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 283,748
File size: 186 KB
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

"I spent the first eighteen years of my life in Decatur, Illinois, a middle-American town in a time when teenagers were considered guilty until proven innocent, which is fair enough. My mother read to me before I could read to myself, and so I dreamed from the start of being a writer in NewYork. But Decatur returned to haunt me, becoming the "Bluff City" of my four novels starring Alexander Armsworth and Blossom Culp. When I was young, we were never more than five minutes from the nearest adult, and that solved most of the problems I write about for a latergeneration living nearer the edge. The freedoms and choices prematurely imposed upon young people today have created an entire literature for them. But then novels are never about peopleliving easy lives through tranquil times; novels are the biographies of survivors.

"I went to college in Indiana and then England, and I was a soldier in Germany -- a chaplain's assistant in Stuttgart -- ghost-writing sermons and hearing more confessions than the clergy. In Decatur we'd been brought up to make a living and not to take chances, and so I became an English teacher, thinking this was as close to the written word as I'd be allowed to come. And it was teaching that made a writer out of me. I found my future readers right there in the roll book.After all, a novel is about the individual within the group, and that's how I saw young people every day, as their parents never do. In all my novels, you have to declare your independence from your peers before you can take that first real step toward yourself. As a teacher, I'd noticedthat nobody ever grows up in a group.

"I wrote my first line of fiction on May 24th, 1971 -- after seventh period. I'd quit my teaching job that day, liberated at last from my tenure and hospitalization. At first, I wrote with my own students in mind. Shortly, I noticed that while I was growing older every minute at the typewriter,my readers remained mysteriously the same age. For inspiration, I now travel about sixty thousand miles a year, on the trail of the young. Now, I never start a novel until some young reader, somewhere, gives me the necessary nudge..

"In an age when hardly more than half my readers live in the same homes as their fathers, I was moved to write Father Figure. In it a teenaged boy who has played the father-figurerole to his little brother is threatened when they are both reunited with the father they hardly know. It's anovel like so many of our novels that moves from anger to hope in situations to convince young readers that novels can be about them...

"I wrote Are You in the House Alone? when I learned that the typical victim of our fastest growing, least-reported crime, rape, is a teenager -- one of my own readers, perhaps. It's not a novel to tell young readers what rape is. They already know that. It's meant to portray a character who must become something more than a victim in our judicial system that defers to thecriminal...

"Two of my latest attempts to keep pace with the young are a comedy called Lost in Cyberspace and its sequel, The Great Interactive Dream Machine. Like a lot of adults, I noticed that twelve year olds are already far more computer-literate than I will ever be. As a writer, I could create a funny story on the subject, but I expect young readers will be moreattracted to it because it is also a story about two friends having adventures together. There's a touch of time travel in it, too, cybernetically speaking, for those readers who liked sharing Blossom Culp's exploits. And the setting is New York, that magic place I dreamed of when I wasyoung in Decatur, Illinois..."

More About Richard Peck

Richard Peck has written over twenty novels, and in the process has become one of America's most highly respected writers for young adults. A versatile writer, he is beloved by middle gradersas well as young adults for his mysteries and coming-of-age novels. He now lives in New York City. In addition to writing, he spends a great deal of time traveling around the country attending speaking engagements at conferences, schools and libraries...

Mr. Peck has won a number of major awards for the body of his work, including the Margaret A. Edwards Award from School Library Journal, the National Council of Teachers ofEnglish/ALAN Award, and the 1991 Medallion from the University of Southern Mississippi. Virtually everypublication and association in the field of children s literature has recommended his books, including Mystery Writers of America which twice gave him their Edgar Allan Poe Award.Dial Books for Young Readers is honored to welcome Richard Peck to its list with Lost in Cyberspace and its sequel The Great Interactive Dream Machine...

Twenty Minutes a Day
by Richard Peck
Read to your children
Twenty minutes a day;
You have the time,
And so do they.
Read while the laundry is in the machine;
Read while the dinner cooks;
Tuck a child in the crook of your arm
And reach for the library books.
Hide the remote,
Let the computer games cool,
For one day your children will be off to school;
Remedial? Gifted? You have the choice;
Let them hear their first tales
In the sound of your voice.
Read in the morning;
Read over noon;
Read by the light of
Goodnight Moon.
Turn the pages together,
Sitting close as you'll fit,
Till a small voice beside you says,
"Hey, don't quit."

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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The Ghost Belonged to Me 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Ghost Belonged to Me is the story of Alexander and Blossum and how they discover a ghost and her dog that are living in the barn behind his house. Blossum¿s mother tells her that Alex has a sixth sense and can see things. When Blossum tells Alex this he doesn¿t believe her until he finds the dog. The ghost is a young girl who helps Alex save a trolley full of people form crashing into a ravine making Alex a local hero. The ghost also helps Alex¿s sister from making the biggest mistake of her life. After the Ghost has done so much for Alex and his family, he decides to help her rest in peace. He learns her story and helps her get back home while encountering some strange circumstances with reporters, his uncle, and Blossum. This book is on a younger reading level and an audience of middle school students would appreciate it best. Possible topics of discussion would be the time period, helping others, and the supernatural. In teaching this book you can be creative and play off the book with a newspaper, history aspect, or even the possibility of ghost¿s. The possibilities are endless. We read this book in a young adult literature class and really enjoyed it. It provided humor in a genre that other authors might not be able to incorporate in their own books. It was a fun read and easily a gripping page-turner.
copperbeech on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is a children's classic. It's a wonderfully powerful story of relationships beyond the veil. If you are someone who sees spirits this book is one of your best guides. I loved this story as a child. As an adult who works with spirits and those in form, I recommend this book to my clients who see spirits and want to learn how to respond to them compassionately. It is indeed a children's book with lessons from which everyone can learn.
kthomp25 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another of Peck's delightful family tales, this one with a 13 year-old boy and his older sister, Lucille, a senior in high school planning a "coming out" party. Strong women characters in the Mother, Lucille, Aunt Elvera, and Mrs. Pomarade, a New Orleans woman. Not scary even though there is a ghost looking for resolution and a real grave.Tells the Civil War story of people fleeing New Orleans before it falls to the Yankees. Delightful.
fyrefly98 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: Alexander Armsworth's family owns the third largest house in Bluff City, Illinois and is just as well-to-do and respectable as you'd expect. When Blossom Culp, Alexander's spindly classmate from the wrong side of the streetcar tracks, tells him that her Mama has the Sight, and that she says the Armsworth's barn is haunted, Alexander dismisses it as telling tales. But then one night he sees a strange light coming from the barn, and when he goes up there hoping to catch Blossom pranking him, he encounters the ghost of a drowned girl. She's got a cryptic warning about a looming disaster, and a plea for Alexander to help her rest easy. But even if he believes her words, what on earth can he do about it?Review: When I was younger, I read Ghosts I Have Been, this book's sequel, over and over again without every realizing it was part of a series. Now that I am probably triple the age of the intended audience, I'm finally going back through and reading the rest of the books. And while I don't love them quite as much as I do my childhood favorite, I'm really enjoying the project. For one thing, The Ghost Belonged to Me is written from Alex's point-of-view, while the other books focus on Blossom. It's interesting to see familiar characters and places and situations, but to see them from a new perspective.The Ghost Belonged to Me felt as though it was aimed just a little bit younger than Ghosts I Have Been. It didn't seem like quite as much happened, and things didn't feel as dramatic (hard to compare with the sinking of the Titanic for drama, I suppose), but it was still very engaging. There's a nice creepy element early on: the strange lights, the noises, the one damp footprint, but the ghost, when we finally meet her, is so bland that it's almost a non-event. I also like that these books are historical fiction, which means that they don't show their age as much as contemporary fiction written in the 1970s would, and Peck's good at giving a feel for his period and his setting without hammering you over the head with extensive lists of historical details. All in all, this was a fun mid-grade read that managed to make the transition into adult reading quite well. 4 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: Worth checking out if you like ghost stories and/or YA historical fiction.
Whisper1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It is 1913 in Bluff City, MO and 12 year old Alexander Armsworth discovers that the barn on his parents property contains the ghost of a young Creole girl and her dog. When a local reporter gets hold of the story, mayhem abounds.Alexander's classmate Blossum lives on the wrong side of the tracks. She observes the high society antics of the Armsworths while hiding in the hedges. When she also observes the ghost, Alexander reluctantly has a confidant.I enjoy the works of Richard Peck and this one is another fun, delightful journey filled with humorous, spunky people.There is nothing in depth about the book, so if you are looking for a labored read, this won't be for you.But, if you want an easy, breezy delightful time, then take a few hours to smile!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a very a goood story and the movie is terrific but some parts are a little grown so i think 4th and up are able to read it and if thisis your age level you will love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lea Prendergast More than 1 year ago
Vvery good for someone who can't chose a book!
WWT More than 1 year ago
I read this book in fourth or fifth grade and several details are still vivid in my mind in my 10th grade year of school. I remember my heart racing as I was on the edge of my seat every step of the way, not from fear, really, but from excitement! I even remember that the little dog's name was... Trixie, I believe.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story gave me pleasure as well as nightmares, sending the chills of excitement and pleasure through me. When I read of the death of the girl, and how she wasn't given a good Christian burial, I became most frightened. And was filled with anticipation - what was going to happen? The ending was complete and witty. I loved the book, but don't recommend it for people with serious interests, as it mocks their historical sense, though very subtly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this for a Children Lit. class in college and it was great. There is a wonderful movie that was also taken from this wonderful book. I enjoyed it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whutzit about
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its ok