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The Ghost in the Big Brass Bed Paperback – September 1, 1991

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6-- The ghost of a little girl waiting for her father, the father's ghost looking for his daughter, a lost painting, and a house full of antiques add up to a mystery. Ghost specialists Nina Tanleven and Chris Gurley really hadn't planned on getting involved in any more hauntings, but they can't say no when the father and daughter appeal to them for help. The two girls are resourceful and courageous while trying to unravel the secrets. Antagonists are well developed, and readers will enjoy trying to figure out the real villain's identity. Descriptive details add to the suspense. Especially powerful are the paintings that seem to come to life with an unnatural force. This is a page turner that will keep mystery buffs reading to the frightening climax and satisfactory conclusion. --Pamela K. Bomboy, Chesterfield County Public Schools, VA
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Publisher

When sixth grader Nina Tanleven starts working at an antiques shop, she never expects to stumble onto a mystery -- or into danger. But that's exactly what happens when she and her best friend, Chris, go to pick up an antique wardrobe at old Miss Watson's. From the moment the girls set foot in the run-down mansion, they sense that it's haunted -- even before they discover the tower room with its big brass bed and grieving little girl ghost!

But the tower romm isn't the only place holding secrets. In the parlor there's a gruesome painting, which seems to have a terrible hold over Nina. Could there be a connection between it and the ghostly child crying upstairs? As Nina and Chris begin investigating, a second ghost puts in an eerie appearance. The girls realize this could be the biggest ghost-busting adventure of their lives -- if they survive!


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 710L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (September 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553158279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553158274
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #970,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bruce Coville was born in Syracuse, New York, in 1950. His family lived in farm territory, about twenty miles north of Syracuse. Bruce grew up around the corner from his grandparents' dairy farm, where he spent a great deal of time as a child, dodging cows and chores to the best of his ability. As a young reader he loved Mary Poppins and Dr. Dolittle, and still has fond memories of rising ahead of the rest of his family so he could huddle in a chair and read THE VOYAGES OF DR. DOLITTLE. He also read lots of things that people consider junk (Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, and zillions of comic books). His only real regret is the time he spent watching television, when he could have been reading instead. (A mind is a terrible thing to waste!)

His first book, THE FOOLISH GIANT, was published in 1978. It was illustrated by his wife, Katherine, whom he had married in 1969. This was followed in 1979 by SARAH'S UNICORN, also illustrated by Katherine. After a long period of working separately, the Covilles began collaborating again with SPACE BRAT and GOBLINS IN THE CASTLE, both published in 1992.

Before getting published Bruce earned his living as a toymaker, a gravedigger, a cookware salesman, an assembly line worker, and finally as an elementary school teacher (second and fourth grades). He left teaching in 1981 to devote himself to becoming a full time writer - though it took another five years to achieve that goal!)

Bruce has published over 100 books, which have appeared in over a dozen countries around the world and sold more than sixteen million copies. Among his most popular titles are MY TEACHER IS AN ALIEN, INTO THE LAND OF THE UNICORNS, and THE MONSTER'S RING. In 2001 he founded Full Cast Audio, an audiobook company dedicated to creating unabridged, full cast recordings of the best in children's and young adult literature.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
This book is a great book for mystery lovers.
That's how it all begins and to findout teh exciting events that take place later in teh story, just read the book.
Nina doesn't know, but with the help of her best friend Chris, she's determined to find out!
Joanna Mechlinski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ashley on December 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
The Ghost in the Big Brass Bed is a great book by Bruce Coville. In this book, Nina and her friend Chris are risking their lives to figure out a mystery, onw they are sure of is that they are going to figure out. They only thing they focus on is the Ghost in Pheobe Waston's house. It all begins when Nina starts to work at an antigue store on Saturdays. Her and on of her co-workers go to pick up on antique from Pheobe's house and as soon as Nina walks in to the house, she knoows it is haunted. That's how it all begins and to findout teh exciting events that take place later in teh story, just read the book. THe book level is probably more for middle school students. It is a great bool for girls and boys. They will love it. It was so interesting to read that even my mom read it. Read this woderful book and gelp Chris and Nina find the Lost Masterpiece. There is nothing you won't like about this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karen on April 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
I read this book when I was in 5th grade. I completely forgot the name of it, and most of the plot, but it was one of those books that had moments that have stayed with me for years. I'm happy that I finally remembered the name of it.

This is a great kid's story. I have read lots of books in my life (I've been a big reader ever since I learned how), and when a book like this sticks with you for this long, you know it's a good one. This one tugged at my fifth-grade-heartstrings at the end.

If you have a kid (especially a girl) who likes some suspense and one or two chills, this is a great one. It's not scary, but it does have thrills, and I remember having a LOT of fun reading it. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone over 11 or under 7, though, because it's very definitely for grade school kids.
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Format: Paperback
I can remember as a little kid watching The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights where Mike Eisner, along with a Disney character, would introduce a particular movie. One of my favorites was the beginning of the Not Quite Human movies, called, well... guess.

The inspiration for the movies were the Not Quite Human books. Well, the LOOSE inspiration, as they took the raw concepts and made a completely Alternate Universe telling of the adventures of the Carson family. They changed other things too in that in the films Chip is much more human-like and seems to learn emotions. In the books, I don't think he was ever that way.

I remember hearing from my brother, at eleven years old, that these books were where the movies came from, so I eagerly read them. I don't remember for the life of me if I read them all, but I did read at least a couple of them. Approaching this series from the space of over two decades (yes, I'm giving away my age, or at least an approximation of it), I can say that they are both not as good and better than I remember them being.

The thrust of the series, of which Batteries Not Included is the first book, is that a genius engineer, Dr. Jonas Carson, has created the world's first life-like android, in secret. He has chosen to model the android in the form of a thirteen year old boy named Chip (an obvious pun on the "chips" in the android). He has decided to engage in an experiment by having Chip attend the local junior high of a town they just moved to for the purposes of said experiment. At the school, Becky (Carson's daughter and Chip's "sister") is also a student and Dr. Carson is a new science teacher.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The third, final and best installment in Bruce Coville's ghostly trilogy is "The Ghost in the Big Brass Bed", following on from The Ghost In the Third Row and The Ghost Wore Gray, each one centered on two girls' experiences with haunted houses and the ghosts therein. Nina Tanleven has just started a part-time job at an antiques store when she's introduced to the elderly Phoebe Watson. The daughter of a famous artist, she's being forced to systematically sell the old furniture in her house in order to pay off debts.

Nina and her friend Chris Gurney strike up a friendship with Phoebe, and having built-up a sensitivity to ghosts in the previous books, know before even setting foot in Phoebe's house that there's a ghost inside. In fact, there are plenty of mysteries within the old house. Not only does a gruesome painting in the parlor have a terrible effect over Nina, but the two girls also witness the ghost of a little girl weeping in the brass bed upstairs. How are the two connected? The girls begin their investigation, researching the tragic life of Phoebe's father, the famous painter Cornelius Fletcher and the rumors of his Lost Masterpiece that could save Phoebe from financial ruination.

I hadn't read this book since I was ten years old, and I returned to it over a decade later with some hesitation, afraid that it would not live up to my memory of it as a nail-biting ghost story that I read in bed until way past the time I was meant to be asleep.
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