Hildy Biddle dreams of being a journalist. A reporter for her high school newspaper, The Core, she's just waiting for a chance to prove herself. Not content to just cover school issues, Hildy's drawn to the town's big story?the haunted old Ludlow house. On the surface, Banesville, USA, seems like such a happy place, but lately, eerie happenings and ghostly sightings are making Hildy take a deeper look.
Her efforts to find out who is really haunting Banesville isn't making her popular, and she starts wondering if she's cut out to be a journalist after all. But she refuses to give up, because, hopefully, the truth will set a few ghosts free.
Peeled is classic Joan Bauer, featuring a strong heroine, and filled with her trademark witty dialogue, and problems and people worth standing up to.
About the Author
"As I grew up in River Forest, Illinois in the 1950's I seem to remember an early fascination with things that were funny. I thought that people who could make other people laugh were terribly fortunate. While my friends made their career plans, declaring they would become doctors, nurses, and lawyers, inwardly, I knew that I wanted to be involved somehow in comedy. This, however, was a difficult concept to get across in first grade. But I had a mother with a great comic sense (she was a high school English teacher) and a grandmother who was a funny professional storyteller—so I figured the right genes were in there somewhere, although I didn't always laugh at what my friends laughed at and they rarely giggled at my jokes. That, and the fact that I was overweight and very tall, all made me feel quite different when I was growing up—a bit like a water buffalo at a tea party.
"My grandmother, who I called Nana, had the biggest influence on me creatively. She taught me the importance of stories and laughter. She never said, 'Now I'm going to tell you a funny story', she'd just tell a story, and the humor would naturally flow from it because of who she was and how she and her characters saw the world. She showed me the difference between derisive laughter that hurts others and laughter that comes from the heart. She showed me, too, that stories help us understand ourselves at a deep level. She was a keen observer of people.
"I kept a diary as a child, was always penning stories and poems. I played the flute heartily, taught myself the guitar, and wrote folk songs. For years I wanted to be a comedienne, then a comedy writer. I was a voracious reader, too, and can still remember the dark wood and the green leather chairs of the River Forest Public Library, can hear my shoes tapping on the stairs going down to the children's room, can feel my fingers sliding across rows and rows of books, looking through the card catalogues that seemed to house everything that anyone would ever need to know about in the entire world. My parents divorced when I was eight years old, and I was devastated at the loss of my father. I pull from that memory regularly as a writer. Every book I have written so far has dealt with complex father issues of one kind or another. My father was an alcoholic and the pain of that was a shadow that followed me for years. I attempted to address that pain in Rules of the Road. It was a very healing book for me. I didn't understand it at the time, but I was living out the theme that I try to carry into all of my writing: adversity, if we let it, will make us stronger.
"In my twenties, I had a successful career in sales and advertising with the Chicago Tribune, McGraw-Hill, and Parade Magazine. I met my husband Evan, a computer engineer, while I was on vacation. Our courtship was simple. He asked me to dance; I said no. We got married five months later in August, 1981. But I was not happy in advertising sales, and I had a few ulcers to prove it. With Evan's loving support, I decided to try my hand at professional writing. I wish I could say that everything started falling into place, but it was a slow, slow build—writing newspaper and magazine articles for not much money. My daughter Jean was born in July of 82. She had the soul of a writer even as a baby. I can remember sitting at my typewriter (I didn't have a computer back then) writing away with Jean on a blanket on the floor next to me. If my writing was bad that day, I'd tear that page out of the typewriter and hand it to her. 'Bad paper,' I'd say and Jean would rip the paper in shreds with her little hands.
"I had moved from journalism to screenwriting when one of the biggest challenges of my life occurred. I was in a serious auto accident which injured my neck and back severely and required neurosurgery. It was a long road back to wholeness, but during that time I wrote Squashed, my first young adult novel. The humor in that story kept me going. Over the years, I have come to understand how deeply I need to laugh. It's like oxygen to me. My best times as a writer are when I'm working on a book and laughing while I'm writing. Then I know I've got something."
Joan's first novel, Squashed, won the Delacorte Prize for a First Young Adult Novel. Five novels for young adult readers have followed: Thwonk, Sticks, Rules of the Road (LA Times Book Prize and Golden Kite), Backwater and Hope was Here (Newbery Honor Medal).
Joan lives in Darien, CT with her husband and daughter.
Copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.
Read an Excerpt
DATELINE: Banesville, New York. May 3.
Bonnie Sue Bomgartner, Banesville’s soon-to-be 67th Apple Blossom Queen, let loose a stream of projectile vomiting in the high school cafeteria.
“It was the tuna fish,” she gasped miserably, and proceeded to upchuck again.
I wrote that down on my notepad as Darrell Jennings and I took a big step back.
The crowning of the queen was tomorrow at 10:00 A.M. in the Happy Apple Tent—a major moment in my small town of Banesville, an orchard-growing community in Upstate New York where apples are our livelihood and the core of our existence.
The nurse rushed in. Darrell, the editor of The Core, the high school paper where I worked as a reporter, said, “It’s a cliffhanger, Hildy. The festival law says if the queen is sick and can’t appear, the runner-up gets crowned.”
“I didn’t know that.”
He pushed his glasses onto his head and grinned. “That’s why I’m the editor.”
I jabbed him in the arm for that comment. Darrell has been editing my copy for close to forever.
Bonnie Sue heaved again and the nurse mentioned something about food poisoning.
“My brother had food poisoning and it kept coming up all weekend,” Darrell whispered ominously. “Stay on this, Hildy. This could be big. Bigger than big. I want the story behind the story.”
He always says that.
Mrs. Perth, the festival coordinator, who also worked in the school office, ran in. “She’ll be fine, everyone.”
Bonnie Sue looked close to apple green. I felt for her, honestly, even though she was the kind of gorgeous girl who acted like she was personally responsible for her looks.
Mrs. Perth handed Bonnie Sue a tub of lip gloss. Bonnie Sue glossed and stuck her head back in the bucket.
“Everything,” Mrs. Perth said fiercely, “will be fine.”
She shooed us out of the cafeteria, but not before she said to me, “Hildy, of course we don’t want to mention this incident in our paper.”
I looked at my notes. “Why not?”
“Hildy, the Apple Blossom Festival is about the hope of the harvest yet to come.”
Banesville needed a good harvest. We were still -reeling from two bad harvests in a row. This was a make-or-break year for the orchards.
“I understand about the hope, Mrs. Perth, but a queen with food poisoning is kind of interesting and—”
Mrs. Perth forced out a smile. “The Apple Blossom Queen is the symbol of unbridled joy and farm-fresh produce.” Her plump hand covered mine. “And we wouldn’t want that symbol to be tarnished in any way. Would we?”
“But Bonnie Sue has food poisoning. That’s the truth.”
“The truth,” she snarled, “is that we’ve had quite enough problems in Banesville! This festival is committed to being happy and positive from beginning to end!” Her eyes turned to slits. “You’re just like your father, Hildy Biddle.”
“Thank you,” I said quietly. She shut the cafeteria door in my face.
From behind the door, I heard Bonnie Sue bellow, “I’m not giving up my crown! I earned it! It’s mine!”
I wrote that down, too.
I was standing in front of Frankie’s Funny Fun Mirrors, watching them stretch my legs and elongate my neck and head as the Apple Blossom Festival pulsated around me.
Two little boys ran up, snickering.
“What’s worse than finding a worm in an apple you’re eating?” the bigger one asked me.
“Finding half a worm!”
They grabbed their throats, shrieked, “Eeeewwww!” and ran off.
I made a face in the mirror, stuck out my tongue.
Hildy Biddle, reporter at large.
I headed across the midway that was actually Banesville High’s football field. I walked under the great arch of blossoms, passing men dressed like Johnny Appleseed. I turned left at the storytelling tent where Granny Smith, our local storyteller, was holding forth; did a twirl and a two-step past Bad Apple Bob and the Orchard Boys playing their foot-stomping regional hit, “You Dropped Me Like an Apple Peel on the Ground.”
“Oh, baby,” I sang along with them, “why’d you have to go?”
You’re just like your father, Hildy Biddle.
I guess that meant obstinate, unbending, always searching for truth.
I can live with that.
I remembered being with Dad at the festival when I was little, riding the Haunted Cider Mill roller coaster, hiding behind him when the wicked queen from Snow White walked by with her poisoned apple. We’d eat fat caramel apples, drink cider till our stomachs would groan. Everywhere I looked, there seemed to be a memory of him.
He died three years ago from a heart attack.
I still can’t imagine what God was thinking when he let that happen.
I looked up in the sky and saw Luss Lustrom’s two-seater prop plane flying overhead. I waved even though he couldn’t see me. Luss gave air tours of the apple valley. I rode with him last year. I’ll never forget the experience—flying low over the apple trees that were in full blossom. The sky seemed bluer than it did when I was standing on the ground; the valley seemed sweeter; the promise of good soil that people would fight for and cry over seemed real to me.
Luss did his best cackling ghost laugh as we flew over the old Ludlow property, a place some people in town thought was haunted.
“The ghost of old man Ludlow,” Luss shouted darkly. “Will we see him?”
I hoped not.
I had wanted to keep flying in the sky with Luss and not come down, but when your family owns an orchard, coming down to earth isn’t optional.
I headed to the Happy Apple Tent, where the queen would be crowned. Bonnie Sue Bomgartner wasn’t anywhere to be seen. She had missed the filling of the giant grinning apple balloon. She’d missed Mayor Frank T. Fudd’s annual declaration: “I can feel it in my bones; this is going to be the best festival ever!” The tent was crammed with people. Tanisha Bass, my best friend and The Core’s photographer, was stationed by the entrance. A group of small children dressed like honeybees held hands and wove through the crowd.
My cousin Elizabeth, The Core’s graphic artist, who wrote for the paper only when we were desperate for copy, whispered, “I heard Bonnie Sue is still at home.”
Darrell, our editor, shook his head. “She made it to the convertible in her pink dress.”
“And puked on the dress, I heard.” That was Lev Radner, my second former boyfriend and The Core’s marketing manager.
I looked at Lev’s thick, curly dark hair, his blue eyes, his chiseled jaw. He was seriously cute, but I’m sorry, when a guy cheats on me—and this does happen with disturbing regularity—I’m gone.
T. R. Dobbs, our sportswriter, marched up. “This just in—the convertible turned back.”
“How do you know this?” I demanded.
“I never divulge my sources,” T.R. said, smiling.
“Big woman approaching.” Tanisha pointed to Mrs. Perth, who was chugging toward the tent, apple blossoms bouncing on her straw hat, not a happy camper.
I stepped into her path. “Mrs. Perth, could you—”
She almost ran me over! “Are you coming?” she barked, looking behind her.
I looked to see Lacey Horton, the Apple Blossom Queen runner-up, walking hesitantly toward the tent, not in the traditional pink dress with pink heels, but in jeans, boots, and a work shirt. Lacey was president of the Horticulture Club and, like me, the child of family orchard owners.
She caught up with Mrs. Perth, who snapped, “How you think you can represent the growers of Banesville dressed like that, Miss Horton, I will never know.”
Lacey smiled sweetly. “All I know how to be is -myself.”
Mrs. Perth harrumphed and handed Lacey a tub of lip gloss. Lacey handed it back.
I took notes like mad. Tanisha snapped shots. Suddenly another photographer elbowed his way past Tanisha and started photographing Lacey.
Tanisha tapped him on the shoulder. “Excuse me.”
The guy ignored her. His cap read Catch the buzz in Banesville . . . Read THE BEE. The Bee is our local newspaper.
Mrs. Perth hissed, “Let’s get this over with.”
Lacey looked down. She wasn’t gorgeous like Bonnie Sue, but she was pretty enough, with dark brown hair and green eyes.
“Congratulations, Lacey,” I said, grinning. “How’s it feel to be queen?”
“Weird,” she whispered.
“We've had so many challenges in town,” I continued. “What’s it mean to you to be queen of this year’s festival?”
Mrs. Perth interrupted, “We don’t have time for—”
“I’d like to answer Hildy’s question, Mrs. Perth.” Lacey smiled at me. “It means that maybe I can help people understand what it’s like to be a small farmer.”
I felt like cheering.
Lacey wasted no time redefining her role. She stood on the stage, one hand steadying her crown, the other holding the microphone.
“We all know in Banesville how things can change suddenly, like the weather,” she began.
People chuckled. That was for sure.
“I know that lots of you have come from out of town—we welcome you to Banesville and hope you have a wonderful time at our festival. I’d like to say something to all the people who are growers in this area.” She looked around the packed tent. “It’s been a hard two years; my family and I know that firsthand. Lots of us have suffered, the bad weather has hurt our crops. But I know how much every grower loves their land. That’s why we’re still here, still able to celebrate the hope of a new harvest. I’m so proud to be a part of this!” She turned grinning to her parents, who were beaming in the front row.
“We can’t give up,” Lacey continued. “We need to stand together. So today, let’s celebrate the hard work, the good land, and the wonderful produce that come from it.”
The crowd burst into applause. Tanisha’s little white dog, Pookie, ran across the stage in a sequined pink sweatshirt and jumped into Lacey’s arms. Pookie is the unofficial mascot of Banesville.
A huge roar of approval went up.
A little girl tugged at my shirt. “Is she a farmer or a queen?”
“Both,” I said, smiling.
Yes. Very cool.
I titled my article on Lacey “Long Live the Queen!” I included the behind-the-scenes vomiting drama, written sensitively, of course. I tried to interview Bonnie Sue Bomgartner to see how she was doing, having lost the crown and all, but she told me to take a walk in dog poop and mind my own business. It was one of the best pieces I’d written for the paper.
I’d officially broken free now from the early days of high school journalism, with groaner topics like “Hooray for Health Week” and “Locker Safety for Dummies.”
But I wanted to take on more.
All summer long, I read every piece of fine reporting I could get my hands on. I practiced writing lead sentences and drove my family and friends crazy asking the questions all reporters have to ask to get to the meat of a story—who, what, where, when, why, and how.
By July, my grandmother Nan would head the other way when she saw me coming. “Hildy Biddle,” she’d shout, “I swear, if you ask me one more time what I’m doing, where I’m going, why I’m going, when I’m coming back, who I’m meeting with, and how I’m feeling about the world, I’m going to start screaming and not stop!”
Asking questions is an art, but not everyone appreciates the beauty.
I kept asking questions all summer as the spooky signs began to appear on the front door of the old Ludlow house.
Danger to all ye who enter
The Domicile of Doom
“Who’s putting those signs up?” I asked. No one in town knew.
“What should be done?” I demanded.
“Why isn’t someone tearing them down?”
When people have had a few bad years, they tend to let things go.
A few weird-looking characters were coming to town, too. One woman I saw had a shaved head and was wearing skeleton earrings. The guy she was with had a deathly white face.
“Where’s the ghost house?” they asked drearily.
“Up on the hill,” I told them.
Then, in August the high school auditorium roof collapsed without warning. School hadn’t started yet, thank God; no one was hurt.
It felt like something bad was seeping into the -atmosphere—until, that is, you looked at our fields, which were finally bringing forth an abundant harvest. It’s hard to think dark thoughts when you’re biting into a juicy peach, tough to focus on ghostly gloom when you’re gobbling sweet corn slathered with salted butter and finishing the meal off with blueberry shortcake with mounds of fresh whipped cream. By late August the tables at the Banesville Farmers Market were heavy with heirloom tomatoes, sweet nectarines, heavenly plums, summer squash, and peppers. The early apples were rolling off the trucks—crisp, sweet, and filled with the promise that so much more was coming.
There were a few stories in The Bee about the Ludlow place and how there’d been ghost sightings. Some unnamed businessperson who claimed to have seen old man Ludlow’s ghost was quoted: “I think Banesville better brace itself for trouble.”
“Do you think that place is haunted?” Tanisha asked me.
I wasn’t sure. I just wanted that house to go away.
Everyone was talking about it.
My father always told me, “When a story keeps coming at you day and night, pay attention.” Dad was a reporter, too.
The phone call came in early September.
I’m here to tell you, I paid attention.
What People are Saying About This
A-peeling all around! School Library Journal
Sharp pacing and an intriguing premise....She stocks her work with strong, sage women, the elements for a budding romance and plenty of funny moments. Publishers Weekly, starred review
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book was very good and I loved the ending. I read this book awhile ago, so I can not give a full in depth review. Although it is still an amazing story about how one person can help start something that can help stop something harming their community.
okay , so i was at my school's bookfair , and i really needed a book to read . my friend said that she saw this book on the internet and was looking into it , meaning that she was thinking about buying it . so i said imma just buy it and then you can borrow it . i start to read and pshhh i start to get sleepy , like seriously . it is so boring . i know most books start off slow , but mannnn . i read up to page 74 , maybe , and i had to stop . i guess its not my type of book . but remember , thats just my opinion , you might like it .
Awesome! I read this book during the summer while I was going into 6th grade. So I was eleven years old when I read it. Ad I still love this book! I had to read any book I chose and I am so glad I picked this one.
Great. No, fantastic. Believe me readers, you will fall in love with Banesville New York and the Happy Apple Valley. Hildy Biddle is one of the greatest characters ever!! Great detail and description. So much story, but believe me that is not a bad thing! Lots of things going on. Characters have there own stories. Read it. :)
I highly recommend this book! One of my all time favorites!!!
I was at my school library, glanced at this book, and almost left it in its place. Then the author's name caught my attention: Joan Bauer. I had read another one of her books, Hope was Here, and loved it. The cover didn't really get me interested, but more than once have I been reminded that you can never trust a book by its cover. This book is no exception. Crisp, clever, and witty, Joan Bauer shows once again her talent for reaching down into us readers, and tugging our heart-strings. She doesn't write about action heroes, the future, or anything out-of-this-world. She writes about normal people, who encounter the same dilemmas as many of us, and still manages to hold on to our attention and get us hooked. 256 pages, Peeled is our form of food for the soul. The story stars a 16 year old girl named Hildy Biddle, who loves nothing more than journaling for her school newspaper. Living in Banesville, New York, breaking news would consist of the death of the biology teacher's hamster and what's for lunch. But things don't stay that way for long. Mysterious notes start popping up near the eerie Ludlow house. Rumor has it that the ghost of the original owner (who killed his lover) was out and about again. The towns other news paper, The Bee, tries to convince the town of this rumor, and people start to get scared. All except for Hildy and a few other people. Hildy smells something fishy about the whole thing, and she's out to find the truth, even when it means that her school newspaper will be taken away. But just because you can't write for the school, doesn't mean you still can't get your opinion out there. Hildy and her friends will go to extreme measures to get the real story to the people, no matter what it takes. Humor, mystery, moving, romantic, you name it, Bauer's got it. Hildy is an intriguing character. She's curious, persistent, and determined. And through her fight for justice, she fights her personal battles just as strongly. She misses her dad, who died of a heart attack. She says once in the book, "How can someone with such a big heart die of a heart attack?" Amidst the fear in Banesville, she manages to deal with her grief, one step at a time. And through the new student at school, she grows in her confidence and also makes a great new friend. The plot was so well thought out. If the end of the book is like the core of an apple, Joan Bauer really knows how to keep us peeling and peeling, wanting to know how it ends, but somehow never wanting the ending to come.
This book was sort of slow and boring. I thought it would be thrilling like Nancy Drew, with Hildy investigating the haunted house, but it didn't have much action. It's still an awsome book, and has kids standing up to what they beleive in, but is kind of boring. It's a good read if you like jouralism, and people standing up for what they beleive in.
I loved this book! The only bad thing was that I was expecting it to be more scarier and suspencful like Nancy Drew. I recommemend it to anyone who loves journalism!
I usually love Joan Bauer's books - the strong (usually) female main characters who are smart, determined, and insightful, the sense of humor, and the quotable bits that are sprinkled throughout the works. However, this one, even with all the attributes mentioned above didn't have the same magic for me (maybe it was because I listened to it instead of read it?)In a town that is filled with fear and rumors of ghostly activities, the staff of the school paper led by Hildy tries to provide a balanced voice and find truth in the growing frenzy.
Hildy Biddle is a high school journalist on a mission. To report the truth on the haunting of the Ludlow house, she¿ll have to ruffle a few feathers in town. Bauer¿s writing is clean and makes for a quick read. Although I wouldn¿t rush right out to buy this book, I do think it¿s worth having in a Middle School or Public Library collection.
I wasn't as fond of this novel as I have been other Joan Bauer works. The whole thing seemed weak and contrived. I liked the description of the town and enjoyed the whole play on the "apple" theme. I just can't imagine anyone getting so excited about a school newspaper!
I always enjoy Bauer's books, but this one wasn't quite as catchy as Rules of the Road or Hope Was Here. I learned a good deal about the newspaper business and how to be sure to get the whole truth, and I also learned a bit about owning an apple orchard. The main character is smart and easy to relate to, but the mystery with the haunted house and the mean real estate people was a little too easy to solve for my taste.
I love Joan Bauer¿s books. All spring I waited with high expectations for Peeled. Maybe I expected too much, but I was disappointed. The book¿s main character, Hildy, is a reporter for her high school newspaper. There are evil-doers afoot in her small town, and she and her friends (with the help of a curmudgeonly adult advisor) uncover their shenanigans. If you¿ve read Landry News by Andrew Clements, or more recently, the Adam Canfield of the Slash books by Michael Winerip you won¿t find anything new here. If you really like the ¿high school journalist¿ genre and are looking for a new book, I recommend Defying the Diva, by D. Anne Love, over Peeled. If you haven¿t read Joan Bauer, start with Hope Was Here and Best Foot Forward. I thought they were great; Peeled is just okay.
Including Peeled, I have read four books by Joan Bauer. I originally read The Rules of the Road around fifth grade and have been in love with it ever since, which could also explain why I liked Best Foot Forward because it is a sequel. However, when I decided to try Thwonk I wasn't that impressed because it had a lot of fantasy elements within it which isn't her normal style. This caused me to be a bit hesitant towards reading Peeled, but I gave in due to the fact that the cover was just that amazing.I am very glad that I decided to give her another try. Peeled is an excellent story about a teen journalist who is trying to uncover the truth about a haunted house in her town. All of the characters are extremely lifelike, even though the book just offers a brief glimpse into their lives. Both Hildy and her cousin Elizabeth have lost a parent, but under two completely different circumstances. Hildy got to know her father, while Elizabeth's mother died while she was young. This helps connect with the readers because it doesn't limit the experience.The story was a little predictable at times, but it does contain a couple of twists are still surprising to the reader. I would definitely recommend this book to any fans of The Rules of the Road, YA fiction in general, and especially anyone who has written for a newspaper or dreams of doing so in the future.
Wow a very exciting, attention-holding story to the end. Hildy Biddle is funny, sensitive, and creative. A very good read.
Peeled was not such a great book it started of very slow. I didn't like it gave it 1 star. It was not the best book. He book itself was about a town having a annual fair and the crown the town queen. This girl in the book is telling you about what you do around here in this town. But when she wants to put out a story about a ghost in the town and the people in the town start to freak out because of the story. It sound like a very good book but it starts off very slow and it doesn't get you want to read It more. that's why I gave it 1 star.
This book was really good, a real mystery, i loved it. It really keeps you on the edge but moved at a really slow pace. Some parts were kind of confusing but made sence if you kept reading. I would recomend this book to anybody that likes mystery or ghoast books.
Hildy Biddle is feisty, funny, and and has a very good mind of her own. She is Banesville High's star reporter, determined to be as good as her father was. Apples are the "core" of Banesville's economy and two years of poor crops have farmers struggling. Life becomes really rotten when threatening signs appear on the town's old haunted house and Hildy gets a midnight call alerting her to a break-in there. Hildy and her friends are determined to break the story and solve the mystery.The premise of a cub reporter breaking the story is hardly original, but Peeled is a very good young adult novel. Hildy is not only smart, determined,caring, and responsible, but the kind of girl who knows that beauty is more than skin deep and that fickle boyfriends aren't worth the bother. There are worthwhile lessons about corruption, the struggles faced by small towns and small farmers, and the power of the press -- and abuse of that power.Fans of mysteries or crime novels might find the clues too heavy handed and could become impatient waiting for Hildy and her friends to catch on. In a nutshell, I would recommend this to girls in the 12 to 15 age range.
didnt keep my interest for long. got to repetative, even for me
I am a fan of Bauer's novels for young adults, but I confess I was disappointed in this one. It's quite readable, as all Bauer's books are, but it was basically a reworking of an earlier (and much better) novel, "Hope Was Here." Same basic plot - courageous teenagers, inspired by a brave and wonderful adult, find they can fight corrupt politicians and businessmen and (kind of) win. Enjoyable - but I won't be keeping the book to read again.
In an upstate New York farming community, high school reporter Hildy Biddle investigates a series of strange occurrences at a house rumored to be haunted.
Hildy Biddle is a sixteen year old junior at Banesville High. Her dream is to become a journalist and follow in her deceased father's footsteps. She lives in a small town in the heart of apple country. Lives revolve around apples and of course the Apple Blossom Festival. The biggest news so far for Hildy is the Apple Blossom Queen's sudden illness. That is until strange things are reported to be happening at the Old Ludlow Place, the towns own haunted house. Hildy doesn't believe things are as they seem and she sets out to find the truth. her biggest obstacle as she attempts this is the local paper "The Bee". When "The Core", the school paper is forced to close by the local paper, they create an underground newspaper. From here they find out the truth.This is an excellent book for kids to read. It is a demonstration of how those in power can use the media to push forth their own agenda. I've enjoyed Joan Baur's books and this is another example of good literature that I can recommend to my students. I have to say I really liked the cover and title. They went well together. When we read a story in the paper we must often peel away the layers to get to the truth of the story.
This book was a wonderful book. I love how the book was about a mystery! I encourage people to read this book.(P.S. there are no nasty words in this book.)
whaat a great book. kinda reminds me of to kill a mockingbird book, but with a newspaper. great themes, great lessons to be learned. read this book