Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ghosts I Have Been - Richard Peck

Until I browsed through Lizzie Skurnick's book "Shelf Discovery" in preparing for the reading challenge and saw this book cover, I'd completely forgotten that this was one of my favorites back in middle school. Anything written about ghosts were my "thing" back then. Really, Peck has all his bases covered on this one...ghosts, the supernatural, and the Titanic. What's not to love? This book represents my fifth in my Shelf Discovery Challenge Rampage Month.







Blossom Culp is a plucky, middle school aged girl living in a small town in 1913. She is dirt poor, with no father and a mother who is a toothless fruitcake who claims to have the Second Sight. This doesn't seem to bother Blossom a bit, however. She survives by her wits and her cunning. Through a bit of mischief, a chain of events are unleashed which change Blossom's life. She learns that she, too, has the Second Sight. She can see ghosts, she can see events that have happened in the past, and can see things that will happen in the future. She makes quite a name for herself in her small town. But her biggest coup, one that makes her an international sensation, occurs when she slips through a crack in time and finds herself on the Titanic, in the room of a small boy who is left to drown by his socialite parents. And when Blossom pops back into the current day, she brings with her a tragic story and a Titanic blanket that makes her famous beyond her wildest dreams.

Beyond the appeal of everything supernatural, it is hard not to fall in love with Blossom. She refuses to let life get her down, and despite the horrors that her gift brings (she sees a future of devastating wars in one of her visions), she stays upbeat and full of piss and vinegar. She even picks up a boyfriend in the process.

There are two quirks in the writing that got under my skin, ever so slightly. First, Blossom has pretty bad grammar. I realize that is all a part of her persona, but it bugs me nevertheless. Second, Blossom has a bad habit of over-dramatizing the events to come. As in "But of course that was not an end. It was only a bare beginning. Nor was it the last time I was to see the inside of the Principal's office". Small quibbles, I'll admit. Overall, I found Blossom and the story every bit as charming now as I did when I was 12.

4 out of 5 stars

14 comments:

Melody said...

Ghost stories is my "thing", be it now or then. This one sounds interesting to me!

Alice Teh said...

I like the sound of this one, Sandy. I recently developed a liking for ghost stories, so this is just what I need. :)

caite said...

ghosts scare me! :-O

farmlanebooks said...

I haven't heard of this one before. I was really into ghost stories as a teenager, but they scare me a bit now!

bermudaonion said...

I heard Richard Peck speak in September and he is quite a character himself. He is passionate about books for kids. I'm so glad you enjoyed this.

Julie P. said...

I've never read this one! Why is it that every SD book you review, I want to read????

GMR said...

Don't you just love revisiting books you've read before, but totally forgot about? I mean it makes the adventure even sweeter (sometimes) as you reread each page and capture the magic you experienced the first time around. I've added this book to my seek out list as the tale sounds like fun! Thanks for sharing!

Literary Feline said...

This soundslike a fun book. I've never heard if it before. It's fun re-visiting some of the books from our childhood, isn't it?

Alyce said...

I think I'm one of the few people who doesn't like ghost stories. :) The time travel part sounds kind of interesting though.

Dar said...

I've never heard of this one but anything with ghosts is right up my alley.

Kathleen said...

How did I miss this one back in the day? I was always looking for scary stories to read...must have been a foreshadowing of my True Crime addiction!

heidenkind said...

Hey, this cover looks really familiar! I think I might have read this book, too.

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