Ghost Fever/Mal de fantasma
Have you ever felt the tiny hairs on the back of your neck raise for
no apparent reason? Or have you ever been alone in a room or a house
and heard unexplained noises or suddenly felt as if you were being watched?
Have you ever become suddenly chilled when previously you had been comfortable?
Do you believe in ghosts? What would you do if your parents or guardians
decided to move into a haunted house and you had no say in the matter?
When fourteen-year-old Elena moves to a dusty small town in southern
Arizona with her father and younger sister, she must face her fears
and live in a haunted house. Everybody knows the house is haunted; that's
why it has been abandoned.
"You could ask anyone in that part of town about the house and
they would tell you, 'Es una casa embrujada. Hay un anima que anda
penando en esa casa.' They would tell you it was haunted, that there
was a soul suffering in that house (p. 8)."
That didn't stop a local businessman from purchasing the house in hopes
of renting it. No one will live there . . . no one until Frank Padilla,
Elena's father, hears of it. Frank doesn't believe in ghosts and the
landlord is offering six months free rent. It seems like a good deal
Elena wants to support her father but is anxious about moving into
a haunted house. Luckily her grandmother has some knowledge of ghosts,
which she shares with her granddaughter. Elena tries to follow her grandmother's
advice, but something goes wrong and suddenly Elena is very sick with
a bad fever. Did Elena see a ghost? How did Elena get sick? And how
will she get well again? Read this skin prickling story to find out.
Ghost Fever is a bilingual English-Spanish book that will appeal
to a wide range of readers, especially 'tweens and young adults. Mona
Pennypacker's detailed pencil drawings help illustrate the story, but
may be frightening to younger readers. While some readers crave thrilling
ghost stories all year round, Ghost Fever is a particularly good
read for Halloween, El día de los muertos, and Samhain,
a Celtic festival.
Educators can make curriculum connections to readers' cultural and
personal beliefs around ghosts and the afterlife. Additionally, readers
could explore and discuss holidays and celebrations related to the spirits
of the dead, such as El día de los muertos. There are
two additional books reviewed on this site to support such a study:
Pablo Remembers The Feast of the Day of the Dead
by George Ancona and The Festival of Bones: El
festival de las calaveras: The Little-Bitty Book of Day of the Dead
by Luis San Vincent.
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