Monday, December 7, 2015

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: THE ELEVATOR GHOST

The title of this book caught my attention! I haven’t read any ghost stories for a while and this was fun, because it was really several ghost stories inside a larger one. 

Description from Amazon:

When Carolina Giddle moves into the Blatchford Arms, no one knows what to make of her sequin-sprinkled sneakers and her trinket-crusted car. But the parents are happy there’s a new babysitter around, and Carolina seems to have an uncanny ability to calm the most rambunctious child with her ghostly stories.

Armed with unusual snacks (bone-shaped peppermints, granghoula bars and Rumpelstiltskin sandwiches), candles to set the mood, and her trusty sidekick ― a tarantula named Chiquita, Carolina entertains the children with some good old-fashioned storytelling and, at the end, a great Halloween party.

Governor General’s Award winner Glen Huser brings his quirky sense of humor and horror to some time-honored motifs. The artistic Lubinitsky girls find out that artists must be wary of the power of their own creations. Holy terror Angelo Bellini discovers that no one can throw a tantrum like a double-crossed pirate. The Hooper kids, including UFO junkie Benjamin, learn about some eerie goings-on in the New Mexico desert. Timid Hubert and Hetty Croop are practically afraid of their own shadows, until they hear the story of a boy who finds the perfect weapon for overcoming his fear of the dark. And Dwight and Dwayne Fergus, two would-be Freddy Kruegers, finally meet their match in Carolina, and her story of the footless skeleton.

As for Carolina Giddle herself, it turns out that she has a timeworn connection to the Blatchford Arms, and to the ghost who still haunts the building ― especially its old-fashioned elevator.

The Elevator Ghost was written by Glen Huser and published by Groundwood Books in 2014.

My Take:

This book is amusing and full of mildly spooky stories that are linked together by an interesting character, Carolina Giddle. She comes to live in the apartment building and ends up babysitting different children that live in the building – keeping them entertained with ghost stories. At the same time, Carolina is also visiting her ghost friends. 

As a writer, I really enjoyed language and phrasing in the story. It was very interesting the way the author was able to keep a lighter tone and yet still create the suspense needed for a good ghost story.

Opening Line:

“Blatchford was scary any night of the year, not just on Halloween.”


“At an hour past midnight, all of the excitement over Halloween had faded away. There was just the smallest taste of it left, like the sweetness from a caramel.”

“She pulled out tea candles, can labeled Ghost Host: The Drink That Soothes, and a plastic container filled with dessert squares."

“My stories are often a bit raveled,” Carolina Giddle said. “I just tuck the loose threads back in best I can to make a tidy edge.”

Other Info:

Glen Huser has worked as a teacher-librarian, children’s book reviewer, and instructor in Elementary Education. He has written several YA novels, all of which have won prizes or been shortlisted for awards. Currently, he lives in Vancouver.


  1. Sounds like a great book to read aloud, perhaps even at a Halloween party! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I agree with Suzanne. And the main character sounds interesting and she has some cool snacks for the kids.


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