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Ghost of a Hanged Man Hardcover – September 1, 1998

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 95 pages
  • Publisher: Cavendish Square Publishing (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761450157
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761450153
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,689,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Before he's hanged, murderer and outlaw Jake Barnette vows to come back from the dead and get the varmints who put him in the grave. Ben, the 11-year-old narrator, and his younger sister, Annabelle, don't quite believe him, but since their dad is the town sheriff, they are just a little worried. Set in 1877, Vande Velde's (Smart Dog) ghost story whips up enough excitement to override the stock characters that populate it?a gypsy girl who reads Tarot cards so dire her face pales in fear and she folds the deck; the nasty Barnette, whose coffin turns up empty after a violent rainstorm; and the pink supernatural presence of the dearly departed Mama, who floats in to save the family from a gruesome demise at the hands of the angry outlaw ghost. A touch of humor greases the story's wheels; for instance, when the family knows that Barnette's ghost is on the loose, Annabelle urges her dad to leave town. The previously rational Pa "hate[s] to admit it," but says they can't assume that "someone who can travel back from the grave can't cross town lines." From the auspicious opener ("Pa said we were too young to go to the hanging") to the screaming conclusion, it's a fun fright. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6-When the infamous outlaw Jake Barnette is sentenced to be hanged in the summer of 1877, no one pays attention to his threat of coming back and killing the men who brought him to justice and their families as well. The following spring, a "tinker" woman predicts danger for the town. Soon, the river floods for the first time ever and several coffins come up out of the wet ground of the cemetery, including Jake's. Still, 11-year-old Ben and his little sister aren't too worried-even when Zandra, a gypsy girl, gives them each a less-than-favorable tarot reading. After all, their father is the sheriff. Suddenly, the foreman of the jury that convicted Jake dies of seemingly natural causes. Then Judge Wade falls down a flight of stairs and breaks his neck. People try to blame the town's misfortunes on the gypsies. Before leaving, Zandra seeks out Ben and warns him that if he doesn't rebury Jake, the consequences will be dire-if it isn't already too late. There is no remove-the-rubber-mask-and-reveal-the-human-culprit ending here. Jake really is a malevolent apparition come back from the dead to seek revenge and Ben and his family are saved only by the spirit of his dead mother. This unsettling novel has many appealing elements: an evil ghost, a Wild West setting, and a young male narrator who demonstrates courage in the face of danger, but knows it's okay to be afraid.
Carrie Schadle, New York Public Library
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Hate and love in the same book. This story is a good ghost story for middle school readers, those that like being scared. There is a hanged, vengeful, hateful man and how he tries to take revenge out on those who hanged him. How a wife's and mother's love comes into play is what makes this story a cut above the rest of most ghost stories.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Hi, I recently read this book and it was really good. I couldn't put it down and I was very surprised about the ending. I really didn't expect what happened to have happened. She is an excellent author. I have now read 3 of her books. This one, including Curses,INC. and Dragon's Bait. In fact, I logged on to see if she wrote a sequel to Dragon's Bait and was severly disappointed to see she has not. If you read this Ms. Velde, please write a sequel to that book! Thank you
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