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The Ghosts of Rathburn Park Hardcover – October 8, 2002


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; 1St Edition edition (October 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385327676
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385327671
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,279,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Veteran novelist Snyder (Spyhole Secrets) offers up a contemporary mystery more satisfying for its wonderfully delineated cast than, perhaps, for its plot. Matthew Hamilton, a gawky 11-year-old, has just moved to Timber City, where his dad has been hired as city manager. While his older brother and sister almost immediately start making friends, Matt is more solitary. A story about ghosts appearing near Rathburn Park, home to an old mansion and, also, before a deadly fire swept through it, the original site of the town, prompts Matt to investigate. He meets a girl in old-fashioned dress (who dons white gloves and a hat held in place with a hatpin), and he is thrilled when she introduces herself as Amelia Rathburn-and stymied when, shortly afterward, he learns that the only Amelia Rathburn on the premises is almost 100 years old. Those who have read E.L. Konigsburg's Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth will know exactly what's coming; those who haven't will probably be able to guess the flesh-and-blood identity of the titular "ghosts." While this isn't Snyder's most suspenseful tale, her gifts for fashioning lifelike and sympathetic characters are as pronounced as ever, as is her understanding of family dynamics. The payoff here is the storytelling itself. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-The Hamiltons have just moved to Timber City. The family's introduction to the town is the July Fourth picnic at Rathburn Park. It is there that Matt hears about the fire that destroyed the original town and the ghosts that haunt the park. He wanders away from the picnic, gets lost in the forest, and is led out by a small dog that no one else can see. Then he meets Amelia, a mysterious girl dressed in old-fashioned clothes. They explore the burned-out church, the old Rathburn house, and the swamp as Amelia leads Matt, and orders him around. These two main characters are finely drawn, as are Matt's two older siblings. Suspense is created as the 11-year-old tries to connect the history of the area to the tales Amelia tells him. This skillfully told story is full of both history and middle-grade concerns about peer pressure and acceptance.
Kathryn Kosiorek, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, OH
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kind Bean on July 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
The main character in The Ghosts of Rathburn Park is Matt Hamilton, the youngest child of three, and an awkward 11-year-old. His family has just moved to Timber City, where his dad has been hired as city manager. As usual, his older brother and sister almost right away start making friends, yet Matt stays to himself. While his brother starts to hang out with the wrong crowd and tension begins to build up at home, Matt finds solitude in the mysterious Rathburn Park. There he finds a helpful dog and a mysterious girl. There are numerous ghost stories of the park and the old Rathburn mansion, the only house that remains after a fire burnt the town down. The new town was rebuilt in another area, and the stories say that the original land of the town is haunted. Matt can't resist investigating the connections of the girl and all the ghostly tales. The characters are pleasurable and the story is suspenseful. While the story may be predictable to older readers, it is still a well told story with a decent amount of creepiness to it. Many will enjoy this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
A kid named Matt Hamilton and his family moved to Timberland.Matt found out freaky things about a Park called Rathburn Park.There is a ghost and a freaky swamp.It is a meduim

sized book for boys and girls.It is good for grades,4,5,and6.It is a suspenseful book and u will never put it down.
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By M. Stade on January 12, 2015
Format: Paperback
Fun book. Sadly, this jf book aimed at kids by Random House contains swearing. Older brother expresses his displeasure with the exclamations.
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