Toseland may be used to being alone, but he doesn’t like it. He attends boarding school in England while his father and stepmother live in Burma. He even spends holidays with the headmistress. When his great-grandmother Oldknow writes to tell him that he is to go and live with her, he has mixed feelings. Will she be the kind of old person that frightens him?

“Tolly” and “Granny” are the best of friends the moment they set eyes on each other. Toseland finds he can speak to his grandmother about anything. So, when he hears strange whispers in his bedroom at night and laughter in the garden, he does not hesitate to confide in her. Granny is not the least bit surprised. She too has seen and heard the spirits of three children, Toby, Linnet and Alexander, ancestors of Toseland’s who lived in the 17th century. Far from being frightened by his encounters with the supernatural, Toseland gradually gains the spirits’ trust, and they become his playmates.

L.M. Boston’s rich imagery envelops the reader in this magical ghost story. Toseland learns much about the Stuart period of British history through his vivid dreams and conversations with his grandmother. The author incorporates many biblical and mythological references, adding to the ancient, mysterious atmosphere of Toseland’s surroundings. A delightful read-aloud for elementary school children.

Jennifer Minicus is a mother and teacher living in Ridgewood, NJ.

Jennifer Minicus

Jennifer Minicus lives in New Jersey with her husband and son. A former French, Latin and mathematics teacher, Jennifer currently enjoys the responsibilities of a "domestic engineer", particularly making...