Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), and several Kindle ebooks.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Investigating Gilda Joyce

Over a year ago, I bought a bunch of severely marked-down books at Barnes & Noble in Roanoke. A couple were middle grade novels that looked interesting. (At the time, I was in the home stretch of writing my middle grade novel, so I wanted to get more familiar with the market.) Once home, I added them to my stack of books to be read. And more or less forgot about them.

During the last two months of being snowed in, I've been going through the stack and finding a few worth investigating further. One was Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison and originally published in 2005 by Dutton Children's Books. Since the book has been out for five years, there's no reason for me to do a review. Plus the book has already garnered a slew of good reviews—really good reviews—Publisher's Weekly and School Library Journal good reviews. But I'll tell you about it anyway.


The info on the cover's inside flap grabbed my attention: "Ever since her dad died, Gilda Joyce has been determined to communicate with spirits from 'the other side.'" Since my (completed but currently unpublished) MG novel is about a girl whose mother died and who finds herself trying to help a ghost get back to the other side, I figured I might like this book.

I loved it! Thirteen-year-old Gilda is wonderfully quirky, and I'm a sucker for quirky characters. Gilda pushes the edge of belief, but it works. I'm willing to believe that Gilda's plan to finagle an invitation to visit Leslie Splinter, the distant cousin she's never met (and his disfunctional daughter Juliet that Gilda didn't know existed) in San Francisco is plausible. I'm willing to believe that her mother lets her fly all the way from Michigan alone. I'm even willing to believe that Gilda lugs a typewriter onto the airplane.

After she she arrives in San Francisco, Gilda soon learns that the Splinter house has a tower haunted by Mr. Splinter's sister Melanie, who committed suicide by jumping from the tower. Mr. Splinter forbids the girls to go to the tower, but naturally they do.

Of course, Gilda solves the mystery. I figured she would.

 Ex-English teacher  that I am, I loved that Gilda had an extensive vocabulary and used big words.

Now, I want to get a few more Gilda Joyce books to read.
~

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1 Comments:

Blogger Snappy Di said...

I love the artwork on the cover. It so portrays a quirky girl. I'm not much of a reader but that looks like a quick read book that I would enjoy.

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

9:03 PM  

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