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Dial-a-Ghost Paperback – April 14, 2003


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Dial-a-Ghost + The Secret of Platform 13 + Which Witch?
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 6
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (April 14, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142500186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142500187
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #979,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

After spending most of his 10 years in a London orphanage, Oliver Smith is horrified to discover he is the sole master of a grand old mansion. Oliver is quite satisfied with his life just as it is, but he soon finds himself ensconced in a spooky, creaky tower bedroom in Helton Hall, under the care of his two cruelly calculating cousins, the Snodde-Brittles. Cousin Fulton and Cousin Frieda, next in line to inherit the family mansion if something should happen to Oliver, have offered to help him settle in to his new home. Of course, if the matron of the orphanage knew that this assistance involved renting bloodthirsty ghosts from the Dial-a-Ghost Agency in hopes of frightening the boy to death, she certainly wouldn't have allowed Oliver out of her sight. As it turns out, though, there's been a bit of a mix-up at Dial-a-Ghost. The gruesome specters intended for Helton Hall accidentally end up at a convent, while the gentle family of ghosts that wind up in Oliver's home suit him just fine, much to his evil cousins' dismay.

Eva Ibbotson has established herself as a true master of her genre with her extraordinary fantasy novels such as Which Witch? and Island of the Aunts. In Dial-a-Ghost, Ibbotson continues to excel in wit, whimsy, and wisdom. It's as if one's favorite crazy aunt has dropped by to tell the kind of convoluted and magical story children really want to hear. (Ages 8 to 12) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Once again, Ibbotson (Which Witch; Island of the Aunts) dishes up an irresistible brew of magical high jinks and adventure in this tongue-in-cheek post-WWII ghost story set in Britain and starring two families of displaced spooks. Miss Pringle and Mrs. Mannering, founders of the Adopt-A-Ghost agency, are delighted when they find homes for two of their hard-to-place clients, the Wilkinson family of five (who died all at once when a bomb hit their house) and the Shriekers, a pair of maimed and foul-smelling aristocrats who, after suffering the loss of their only child, aim to rid the world of as many living youngsters as possible. Due to a clerical error, the spirits wind up in the wrong homes. The Shriekers haunt an abbey filled with mild-mannered nuns, and the Wilkinsons move into the Snodde-Brittle estate, where their two evil hosts plan to scare to death the youngest heir, a kindhearted orphan named Oliver. The comedy of errors becomes more complicated by the minute as murderous plots are foiled, ghost busters are hired and the identity of the Shriekers' long-lost daughter is uncovered (astute readers will figure it out before the Shriekers do). Hawkes's whimsical drawings perfectly capture the book's slapstick action and sly humor. Readers will be highly amused as disjointed pieces of the puzzle start to neatly interlock. Ages 8-12.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

A great book with a wonderful story and sweetness all its own.
jennyb@mint.net
I am always looking for books for my nephews to read, and this one is one of the best I've found.
Moe811
Dial-A-Ghost is the fourth hilarious and witty novel by Eva Ibbotson.
"shayamorph"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Moe811 on May 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am always looking for books for my nephews to read, and this one is one of the best I've found. It will appeal to all of the kids going through Harry Potter withdrawal. Oliver Smith is an orphan living happily in a Home. He suddenly finds out that he has inherited a great estate. Unfortunately, he has two evil cousins who also want the estate. They hire two vile ghosts who like to kill children to haunt the house. Unfortunately, there is a mixup at the agency, and the ghostly Wilkinson family take their place, for the time being anyway.
This is a really fun read. There are some illustrations, but the author's descriptions are so vivid they are practically unecessary. My nephew loved this book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "shayamorph" on September 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Helton Hall is the haunting, grandiose mansion that has been in the Snodde Brittle family for generations. Now, hoewever, a little boy with the last name Smith is the rightful owner -- not Fulton Snodde Brittle, who is enraged at this. Oliver Smith is an orphan, and has roots to the Snodde Brittles. Fulton and his wife, Frieda, will do anything to keep Oliver from owning it -- they plan on using the Shriekers, horrifying ghosts who wear meat for jewelry and love strangling children in their sleep, to scare away Oliver for good. But one family of ghosts who are nice won't let that happen. They're determined to protect Helton Hall's rightful owner -- no matter what horrors lurk inside the mansion. Dial-A-Ghost is the fourth hilarious and witty novel by Eva Ibbotson. I enjoyed it even more than Which Witch?, an award-winning and charming fantasy novel Harry Potter fans will enjoy. Readers are going to adore this exciting new ghost story.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Dial-a-Ghost was a great book. I was expecting a book exactly like it because Eva Ibbotson always writes fantastic books. It started out with a family living in their house during the war. A bomb hit their house and they became ghosts. They went to a ghost house where normal people could rent ghosts for their house, to scare or to just live there. The nice ghosts got mixed up with the awful ghosts and disaster began. The awful ghosts went to a nuns church adn the nice ones went to a nasty old mans house who just wanted the ghosts to kill people. I all turned out OK in the end, but you will have to see what happens for yourself.
Dial-a-Ghost was just everything I thought it would be. Fun, funny, entertaining, and exciting. This book had me reading in the car for hours in a row until I finished it. I just could not put it down. If you have read the Secret of PLatform 13 then I just know you will love this book. Both of the books are similar in the way that they have fun and crazy characters adn are just fun reads. Eva Ibbotson always succeedsin writing the books that really capture my attention and I hope that you will feel the same way after reading just a couple of her books.
Written By: C.C.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Craig on April 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I'm just finishing reading this to my six-year-old (the nine yearold is listening, despite having read it twice already)and we all love it so much that they can even been torn away from The Simpsons! If you haven't dsicovered Ibbotson yet, start with this one, or The Secret of Platform 13 (which is astoundingly like Harry Potter, but long before Harry Potter was written).
Oliver, an orphan, unwillingly inherits Helton Hall from his dreary relations, never guessing that the evil Fulton and Freida Snodde Brittle (family motto: I set my foot upon my enemies)want it so badly they pay an agency to send them the most horrible ghosts on their books. Luckily, the Shriekers (not only violent, but snobs) get sent to some kind nuns by mistake, and Oliver is sent the lovely, gentle Wilkinson family. The Wilkinsons, who have been camping in a London knicker shop ever since a bomb fell on their own home, have adopted a little girl ghost called Adopta, and she becomes Oliver's special friend. But the evil Snodde-Brittles are furious when, instead of dying of asthma and terror, Oliver loves his new guests...and The Shriekers, equally furious, are coming to Helton too.
Funny, thrilling and moving. We all adored it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
When I first got this book I underestemated it because the begining was, let's say, un interesting. It was only when EVA IBBOTSON HERSELF suggested it to me when I wrote to her. Do not make the mistake of underestemating this book like I did. I liked it so much I'm reading it again to my mom! Who are Adopta's real parents. This book is written so well that all the fantasty spooks come to life! What happens to Frieda and Fulton Snodbrittle. You never know what's going to happen next!
Warning!!! You'll get hooked on this book so read it when you have plenty of time or else you won't find a place you want to stop because you just can't! It's so good!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By jennyb@mint.net on April 5, 2000
Format: Audio Cassette
I adore this as well as the much as I do the other Ibbotson's. The story of a family of ghosts who help a little boy defeat his evil cousins who would have him dead so that they might own a giant estate that he inherited. A great book with a wonderful story and sweetness all its own.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 2000
Format: Audio Cassette
I highly recommend this book, not only for children. The plot was interesting and the characters heart-warming. Lots of suspense--and tears and laughter. This middle-aged stockbroker found it great escape reading. I'm so glad I found this author.
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