Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Ghost on Saturday Night by Sid Fleischman; illustrated by Eric Von Schmidt (1974)

I always thought the guy on the right was "Eric Von Schmidt"  He's not.
The Ghost on Saturday Night is another one of those books that I haven't picked up in 30some years.  It's really a perfect little tale (is it a novella?  Or a short story?).    It's probably classified as historical fiction - that bugaboo of children's literature that exists that teachers love and kids hate.  There is just so much bad historical fiction out there!  The Ghost on Saturday Night is not bad historical fiction though.  It's great.  It's not a ghost story, which I think disappointed me the very first time I read it as a kid.  I remember thinking it was really difficult to read as well.  It's a complicated for such a little book, with much packed into its few pages.  Sid Fleischman wrote really great historical fiction, the kind you read as a kid and didn't realize it was history.  By the Great Horned Spoon is one of my top favorite books of all time, and it takes place in this same California gold rush universe (although the characters do not meet).

I had completely forgotten the entire plot of The Ghost on Saturday Night, so it was almost like reading it for the first time.

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