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Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite
Roberta Hoffer has written her Stonebridge Ghost Tales series for 8 to 12-year-olds, and The Ghost of The Frozen North is the second book in the series. Ten-year-old Christian can see and hear the friendly ghost of his great-great-great-grandfather, Jeremiah, whom he met at his relative's large, old manor home in Indiana. Jeremiah was a soldier who died in the Civil War. His task now is to keep Christian (and his mother) safe. Before they can begin living in the inherited house, Christian and his mom have to fly back to Alaska where their current home needs to be sold and Christian must return to his school and face the bullies. Jeremiah has a special bond with Christian and this seems to enable him to acquire some life-like qualities whilst keeping his useful ghostly talents for invisibility and flying. Jeremiah uses his skills to help Christian stand up to the bullies and tracks down the ghost of his grandfather too. Christian’s mother must learn the truth about the mysterious ghosts before they can all return to live together in Indiana.
For children who love friendly ghost tales, this story will be intriguing and enjoyable. The start of each chapter has a simple illustration by Madison Gaines. Written in first person, with Christian telling the story, the short chapters and writing style are aimed perfectly at young readers. There are plenty of funny moments in the story where Christian tries, at first, to keep the existence of Jeremiah a secret from his increasingly suspicious mom. There is adventure too, when Jeremiah flies Christian to the top of Mount Baker. And who wouldn’t want a ghost to help with getting homework done? I loved the way Jeremiah uses his ghostly abilities to help Christian and his friends deal with the bullies. Roberta Hoffer’s The Frozen North is a gentle and warm tale with a lovely message about friendship, courage, and family love.