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Lu and the Swamp Ghost
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Lu and the Swamp Ghost

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  102 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
"When I was a little boy, my favorite stories where the ones Mama told about the adventures she had growing up....Now that I have two little girls of my own, I want to share one of my mama's stories with them, and with you. And so, approche.... " -- James Carville

Mama always said, "You're never poor if you have a loving family and one good friend." Well, Lu has a family b

Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 31st 2004 by Atheneum/Anne Schwartz Books
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Anna Smith
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Story Summary: A young child named Lu feels that she is poor and wants to know what the depression is and her mother tells her that it’s when families have hard times they might have less than they used to but her mother also tells her that she is not poor because her family loves her. In the swamp she find a friend who doesn’t have a family and gives it a new home with love.
Grade Level: K-2
Classroom use: History and teaching the Great Depression
Individual Students; Those who might worry about
Apr 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This book is co-written by the political consultant James Carville with help by establish children's book author Patricia C. McKissack; it also includes a CD with Carville reading the story in his thick, southern accent.

But, it is the illustrations that make this book exciting. They are in pencil and watercolor and go from pastel to bright earth tones, to dark blues and on depending on the setting and main character's mood. But, the cartoons are spunky and brilliant, filling every page with fun
Mar 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
An interesting find in that it's written collaboratively by high flying Democratic consultant James Carville and longtime expert storyteller, Patricia McKissak. A story set in Louisiana during the Depression that comes out squarely on the value of sharing and the wealth that friendship brings regardless of varying realities of economics. Includes an audio CD read by Carville in his most southern Bayou drawl.
Bvlmc Buchanan Verplanck Elementary School
Growing up on a farm in the deep south near the swamps and bayous of Louisiana, surrounded by talk of the Great Depression, Lu wonders if she is poor. Her Mama explains, "You're never poor if you have a loving family and one good friend". Since everyone in her loving family works hard on the farm, Lu sets her mind to finding the only thing she is missing: a friend. One day out in the swamp she stumbles upon a ghost, but finding her courage, Lu learns that with some conversation and compassion al ...more
Julia Jasztal
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mommy's review from 6/20/09 -

I saw this yesterday and picked it up because it looked cute and I noticed McKissack's name on the cover. (I recently read a book of hers and was impressed.)
My daughter is not yet 4 and this says it's for ages 4-8. IMO, it's more for children maybe 5 or 6 up. Julia liked the story but most of it was slightly over her head, for example, the Depression. It's a little longer than the ones she goes for at bedtime but she did enjoy it.
I wouldn't rate it any less becaus
Feb 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book! Absolutely some of the best illustrations I have ever seen. The CD is read by Carville and his accent is simply wonderful. My children and I have read this book a multitude of times. It offers a valuable lesson about bravery, friendship, compassion, and helping those less fortunate than ourselves. This book afforded me the opportunity to discuss the "Great Depression" with my children. On rode trips we'd pop the CD in and listen to Carville's narration a multitude of times. Carvi ...more
Jan 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fascinating look into the Louisiana Bayou. We really enjoyed reading this book aloud together, but we liked it even more when we listened to James Carville read it aloud on the accompanying CD. It's a good story and has a lot of detail, from the southern cooking to depression-era life to the creatures in the swamp. This book begs to be read with a Cajun accent. We love the theme of compassion and friendship woven throughout the tale.

"You're never poor if you have a loving family and on
The Brothers
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
A little girl, Lu, is growing up during the Depression in the Louisiana swamp and she asks her mother if she is poor. Her mother says, "Not if you have a loving family and one good friend." (A great definition of wealth in my book!) Lu has the loving family but not the one good friend. One day when she is out in the swamp she comes across a "swamp ghost" who demands she bring it food or he'll eat her. Gradually she develops a friendship with the ghost, who turns out to be nothing more than a boy ...more
Mitchell Ary
Oct 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: edrd-314
i want to own this book! its so good. the illustrations are vivid and depict the text exactly how i pictured it to be. aside from that the plot is easy to follow but is thick in nature. i loved the main character and how innocent she was through out the story. also this is a great way to demonstrate to kids and adults how going out of your way to make a friend can helpy you out in the end. even if they arent the nicest when you first meet them.
Sarah Kasper
Apr 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: inspirational
I enjoy this story because of the illustrations and how great the story is written, because of this, "Lu and the Swamp Ghost," would be a great story to read during read-aloud time. Also, the theme of the story is basically that if you have family and friends, you have everything you will ever need. This is an important lesson to teach young children in general, but especially children who are struggling with family and/or friend issues.
Meghan Pinson
Jan 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
My three-year-old can't get enough of this. We've checked it out of the library twice already and have read it six times. It's a long one, but he's satisfied and goes right to sleep afterwards -- which almost never happens. The illustrations are rich and lovely, the Louisiana accent it pulls out of me is ridiculous, and the author lets us figure out a couple of things for ourselves, which is nice. It's an invitation to talk about the story and think a little harder. A success.
Jeffrey Ellsworth
A little girl that lives in the South by a swamp has no friends. She hears the stories of a swamp ghost and she actually meets him. She actually becomes best friends with the swamp ghost. Then it rains really hard one day and the swamp ghost is actually a boy (he was covered with mud, leaves, etc). Then the little girl takes the boy home to her family.
May 20, 2009 rated it liked it
This was an interesting story, if not fairly sweet. I checked it out because I saw the illustrations were done by David Catrow. I liked the story, but I didn't love it or anything. I might recommend.

*Taken from my book reviews blog:
Apr 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A different sort of book but I liked the illustrations and the message about friendship and richness was good. I liked that it was based on real life as well. We listened to the included CD which was kind of fun. I think swampy regions are fun.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Adamson
Jul 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
An interesting picture book about a little girl finding a "ghost" in the swamps and bringing it food and making friends. Set in the Great Depression, explores friendship and challenges.
Kitty Tomlinson
Mar 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Wonderful children's book with enough suspense to keep the kids on the edge of their seats.
Andrea Wilkinson
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
The author's recording of this is excellent! Wonderful story I never would have picked up if it weren't for the CD.
Kristen Collins
Sep 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: edrd
All in all, not a terrible book but it sort of felt like it drug on and failed to be as meaningful as it was intended to be. I really wish that the plot lived up to the beautiful illustrations.
Mar 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
You're never poor so long as you have friends. depression era Louisiana and a girl finds a swamp ghost- who turns out to be a boy in need of a friend. Ages 5-8
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Love this story. The audio by James Carville is perfect.
Feb 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: children
Lovely illustrations. Depression-era story with a sweet ending.
May 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Imagining the Ragin' Cajun as a children's book author was tough for me...but Robby loved this imaginative story!
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Wendy Mahaney
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Edward Sullivan
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Jun 05, 2011
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Oct 28, 2011
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Apr 16, 2012
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James Carville is an former U.S. Marine, political consultant, commentator, actor, media personality and pundit. Known as "the Ragin' Cajun," Carville gained national attention for his work as the lead strategist of the successful presidential campaign of then-Arkansas governor Bill Clinton. Carville was the co-host of CNN's Crossfire until its final broadcast in June 2005. Since its cancellation, ...more
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