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Gus Was A Friendly Ghost
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Gus Was A Friendly Ghost (Gus the Ghost)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  462 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
There was once a friendly ghost, by the name of Gus, who lived in an old house in the country. Mr. and Mrs. Scott and their twins, Susie and Sammy, lived there too during the summer. Then autumn came and the Scott family left. Which meant Gus had nothing to do but sit around. One day, during a walk, he met Mouse, who was cold and hungry. "Come spend the winter at my house! ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published 1962
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Oct 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kathryn by: Quasar--thank you
Gus loves the family that stays in his old house during the summers--but he gets lonely when they go away in the fall. He looks for a friend and finds one in an opinionated (and often rather grouchy) mouse. But, kind Gus finds places in the house for the mouse to sleep, and food for it to eat--despite the lady of the house having set out mothballs and newspapers to keep the mice away! They have a wonderful time together until the family comes home--and doesn't like mice! Will Gus find a way keep ...more
Aug 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: yes
★★★★★Gus was a Friendly Ghost by Jane Thayer

This is another childhood favorite. I've had my copy since I was 3yo. My daughter continues to love it as well.

This is the story of Gus the Ghost. The homeowners don't believe in ghosts, but joke when they hear a noise, saying it was their ghost. He is sad when they leave for the winter.

He finds a mouse and lets him move in. They keep each other company. But mouse gets mad when the family comes back and Gus has to keep the peace.
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
One of my absolute favorite books as a kid and I have no idea why. You can tell it's a little old school, especially when you're looking at the hair styles of the family that live in the house. But Gus is just so damn endearing even though he's a ghost. Now my kids love it too, especially my 5 yr old. Great addition to any collection.
Laura Harrison
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The first book in one of my favorite childhood series. Engaging, creative and a perfect read aloud.
Dana Robinson
A classic from my childhood but really hasn't aged that well. Gus and Mouse have a weird, somewhat toxic relationship, and I'm not excited about books where women are patronizingly appreciated solely for being physically attractive.
Annie Payne
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was one of my favorite childhood picture books to read in the fall. Reading it again as an adult, I believe one of the reasons why I loved it so much was because cheese was my favorite food!
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A classic from my childhood.
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
it was ok.
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
A ghost can only be nice for so long until someone or something starts to take advantage. This was a cute little story that I hope my niece will enjoy.
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it
A favorite of mine from when I was a kid.
Kest Schwartzman
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love everything about this.
Evan Harley
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved the art and the story when I was a kid!
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was my mother's book when she was a child, and then it was mine, and now it belongs to my son. And, funnily enough, my husband had saved another Gus book (Gus and the Baby Ghost) from his childhood, so now my son has two Gus books.
The Gus books hold up well. The people in the illustrations look very 1960s, but that's charming, and the tale is timeless. This is is a good story about how to handle conflict when you have two good friends who don't get along with each other. Personally, I've a
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another childhood favorite I've held onto. It's a charming story about a ghost who is fond of the family who summer in the house he haunts, despite knowing they don't *really* believe in ghosts. Gus takes his job of haunting seriously and puts on a good show for them and their guests. One winter while the family are away, Gus meets and befriends a curmodgeonly mouse who becomes his house guest. Conflicts arise when the family return for summer and it's up to Gus to find a way to keep the peace a ...more
Rosa Cline
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
I remember reading this book as a little girl and it being one of my favorite books. So I was so happy when I found a copy among a box of old books. Now I can share it with my adult special needs son and my granddaughter.

Gus the ghost likes where he lives; the family that comes during the summer isn't afraid of him and he can make noises for them. But then when they leave he's lonely. He brings in a mouse and they soon become friends. BUT when the family move back the mouse and the family doesn
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
It's a very cute story about a ghost who loves his family, who only lives there in the summer. He lets a mouse live there for the winter, but finally sets the mouse straight on his behavior when he tries to scare the family away.

I got this book from my grandmother when I was a teenager. It's one of the few things she gave me that was my dad's when he was little and it's nice to have a couple old books. It is not going to be a book in my classroom collection, when I teach since it is old and I d
Aug 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Mommy says: Both kids loved this book about a friendly ghost who lives in a kind family's summer home. Gus takes in a mouse for company during the lonely off season, but what happens when the family returns and the domestic routines are upset?

My kids (3yo & 5yo) enjoyed speculating about having a friendly ghost in our own house. In fact, they requested one for several days. Maybe Mom & Dad will engineer a visitor at Halloween ...

Overall, this old tale really captivated the kids' imagina
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidstuff
Gus "haunts" a house that is the summer home to the Scott family. When they leave for the season, he finds himself very lonely. He befriends a mouse, and the two enjoy rooming together over the winter. But, problems arise when the Scotts return. Can a compromise be worked out, or will Gus's new pal find himself caught in a trap?

This is a delightful story, and Seymour Fleishman's illustrations are top-notch!
Debbie Jo
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Gus Was a Friendly Ghost was a favorite of mine growing up. Gus is ever so nice - he never scares the Scott family & he takes in Mouse. It takes him some time to finally set some rules for Mouse and things go back to normal in the Scott house. I really live Seymour Fleishman's style especially the endpapers and the cutaway of the house. I never knew anyone who had another house they lived in for the summer and used to wonder about that. Will find more Gus books to read. Another favorite were ...more
Sep 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
wow did I love this book as a toddler, 30 years ago. my 2 year old also loves it now, although I can't quite figure out what makes it so appealing. I guess we like that it has a happy ending for everyone! I say 'nice' instead of 'pretty' when we read about mrs scott.
Nov 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Gus lives in a house with a family that doesn't believe in ghosts, he's happy there when the family is staying, but when they leave he's so lonely, so while the family is away he invites mouse to stay, but when the family comes home early, mouse is determined to scare them away. What's Gus to do?
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read this a long time ago in school. It was my favorite, can't remember why exactly but I do remember reading it several times and carrying it around. Recently I read a book to my daughter and this book fell from my subconscious... funny how the mind works.
Dawn Michelle
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens

THIS was one of my favorite books when I was a kid. I LOVED it. And I read it, even as a teen until I lost the book. :-( A friend just bought it and posted about it and made me think of this book all over again. A really great children's book!!!
Hannah capps
May 10, 2008 rated it did not like it
about a ghost that was friendly!!!!
Mar 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!
Jaime Contreras
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
This reminded me of Casper and my youth. It was heartwarming to read this story of a lonely ghost who just wants friends. it is a charmer of a book.
Cory B
Sep 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic
Read that today. Thinking about when i was younger. This has been a strange day. But good book!
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
An endearing tale that gets kids chuckeling and eager to share the humor w/ grandma. I enjoyed hearing my granddaughter's laughter when she read this book to me.
childhood book
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Obituary from: Boston Globe, July 27, 2005

With the 87 children's books she wrote, Catherine Woolley delighted generations of young readers around the world with stories of children, animals, a friendly ghost, and mysterious happenings.

She was so prolific that her publisher told her to use a nom de plume for some books. She chose Jane Thayer, her grandmother'
More about Jane Thayer...

Other Books in the Series

Gus the Ghost (8 books)
  • What's a Ghost Going to Do?
  • Gus Was A Christmas Ghost
  • Gus And The Baby Ghost
  • Gus was a Mexican Ghost
  • Gus Was A Gorgeous Ghost
  • Gus Was a Real Dumb Ghost
  • Gus Loved His Happy Home