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The Swallow: A Ghost Story

by Charis Cotter

Published by Tundra Books, 2014
318 pages
ISBN: 978𢴕70495913

Ages 9-12

Polly often feels lost in the chaos of her big family. But she抯 fiery and feisty and doesn抰 have trouble speaking her mind. Quiet only child Rose feels invisible. Her parents think about work even when they抮e home in the house to which they recently moved, which once belonged to Rose抯 grandmother. Polly, who loves ghost stories, wonders if Rose, who can see ghosts, might not be a ghost herself: Rose is pale and wild-looking. Rose抯 attempts to convince Polly she抯 a real girl recovering from meningitis are temporarily set back when they discover a grave stone with Rose抯 name. The girl, the same age as Rose, died years before. Rose realizes this Winifred Rose must be her aunt, and soon encounters the ghost of Winifred at home. Winifred is not only an unhappy ghost, she抯 a dangerous one and seems intent on hurting Polly in particular. The two girls are determined to figure out what happened to Winifred and form a deepening friendship as they dig into the past, each finding the companionship and validation they need, each understanding themselves and their families better for knowing one another. Charis Cotter抯 satisfyingly scary ghost story, set in 1963 Toronto, is also, and at its most essential, a moving tale of friendship that ends with a revelation.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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