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The Ghost Belonged to Me

(Blossom Culp #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,548 ratings  ·  146 reviews
"More death! More, if you do not stop it. Others lost, like me in the black water. Save them!"

When Alexander first sees the eerie glow in the dormer window of the barn, it sets his heart pounding. And when he ventures into the barn in the dark of night, his breath catches in his throat. Suddenly Blossom Culp's words come back to him: "You can make contact with the Unseen..

Paperback, 176 pages
Published September 1st 1997 by Puffin Books (first published 1975)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  1,548 ratings  ·  146 reviews

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Anne Osterlund
Apr 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Alexander Armsworth is an ordinary seventh grade boy in 1911. At least, he’d like to be. It’s not his fault he lives in one of the nicer houses in Bluff City. Or that his mother is throwing a coming out party for his older sister. Or that his uncle is a bit . . . crazy.

And it’s REALLY not Alexander’s fault that the girl from across the tracks, Blossom Culp, has started dogging his heels. With stories about halos around the barn. And how that’s the sign of a ghost.

Who cares if her Mama is a fort
❀Aimee❀ Just one more page...
I remember watching the Disney adaptation of this book (originally published in 1975, movie in 1978)and being completely enthralled. Boy sees ghost and is sent on a quest that leads him on all sorts of adventures with his new friend Blossom. It gave me the willies, but in a safe way when I was young. There was treasure and ghosts and suspense! The movie adaptation was called "Child of Glass".

This movie gave me such nostalgia that I looked it up in the early/mid nineties and found that it was a
Dec 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Blossom Culp, I love thee. These books were my introduction to juvenile paranormal historical fiction, my love for which never died.
C.  (friends, please call me by name)
In childhood, I borrowed from my school library; too young to recall stories read once. A familiar scene in “Ghosts I Have Been” enchanted me with déja-vu! Other than references to hitting children, it was enthralling. I was surprised it had a prequel and endeavoured to get: “The Ghost Belonged To Me”. Its protagonist is well-to-do Alexander Armsworth in 1913. Because it features his civil, hilarious family instead of Blossom Culp’s angry gypsy Mother; there is no harshness and I relished every ...more
I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it often probably, but I love Richard Peck’s writing. The Ghost Belonged to Me was particularly interesting in that it combined his ghost stories with his humorous slice-of-life stories set in the Midwest around the turn of the twentieth century. And it somehow does both brilliantly! There’s a certain chill to Alexander’s ghostly encounters, although they’re mixed with a compassion for the dead girl whose ghost he meets and for her story. But more than scary, ...more
Mar 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was one of my favorite books when I was...oh, 12-ish or so. I saw it on an end cap at the library and picked it up on a whim to see how it held up. Very well, actually. I was pleased to see an old favorite really was pretty good. It's a gentle ghost story, set at the turn of the 20th century, and told by our protagonist, Alexander. All the characters are nicely drawn and have a good, original voice. The ghost story itself is not as scary or creepy as it is atmospheric, and the main theme is ...more
Jane Stewart
DNF. I read the first third and the last two chapters. It did not pull me emotionally.

I think the author was trying to be like Mark Twain. A school age boy and his friend help a ghost. They later travel down the Mississippi with the ghost’s remains.

I’ve loved many children’s books, but this didn’t do anything for me. It’s written for middle school kids.

It’s told in first person which is not my favorite.

Narrative mode: 1st person Alexander. Story length: 179 pages. Copyright: 1975. Genre: yo
Jul 19, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: youngadult, fantasy
Read this for probably the first time in twenty years earlier this week and loved it all over again.
Kressel Housman
Jun 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Harry Potter fans
This is the first in the “Blossom Culp” series (see my review of Ghosts I Have Been,) but it’s actually Alexander’s story. You might say that Alexander is to Blossom as Tom Sawyer is to Huck Finn. I say this for two reasons: 1) Alexander is privileged while Blossom is poor and 2) For the rest of the series, Richard Peck chose to narrate from Blossom’s point of view. Like Huck, she was the more compelling character.

My analogy falls down for two other reasons, though. 1) Boy-girl dynamics do play
Feb 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
from Amazon: By A Customer
In 1913 in Bluff City, Missouri, Alexander Arnsworth has seen the eerie glow of a ghost in the barnloft window so often he's come to think of the ghost as "belonging to me." Alexander's plucky friend, Blossom Culp, lives on the other side of the trolley tracks. Together, they explore the barnloft and discover the tormented ghost of Inez Dumaine, a little girl who died in 1861 on the Mississippi River. The rest of this wonderful novel is pure fun. Highly Recommended!

I fi
In the beinnning,there is a barn where someone
already saw a ghost. It was Alexarder. Alexarder
ander and his friend Blossom, were talking about it and Blossom
were talking about it and Blossom offered maybe it was some kind of
animal. He said Then how do you explain the Light?
Where Alexander saw the Ghost?? They went to the haymow, which
people used a long time ago, The steps were very dusty with cob webs.
So I'm going to tell you but they wanted to go dead or alive.
Alexander gets scared and Blossom
May 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: general-fiction
This children's book is not bad, but I wouldn't go out of my way to read it. Written in the 1990s, it smacks of nostalgia, a longing for a simpler time, while telling a ghost story from a boy's perspective. ...more
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this out of nostalgia as it was a favorite of mine as a child. It’s a good read. Easy, but engaging. The characters are wholesome and the plot simple yet plucky, just what one expects from a children’s book.
Oct 24, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Octavia Cade
This was really entertaining! A children's ghost story, told from the perspective of one of the kids confronted with a ghost - a young girl with a connection to his family home, who needs to be put to rest. The plot, as you can see, is neither complicated nor original. What makes it appealing, however, is the prose, and the lovely tone that Peck uses throughout the story. It's very gently told, with extremely sympathetic main characters and a family that, if not quite so appealing, adds a humoro ...more
Edwina Callan
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book, 2018
Nothing less than pure fun.
Looking forward to reading the other books in this series.
Harry Hunter
Oct 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: school
The Ghost Belonged to Me by Richard Peck is the story of a boy named Alexander who discovers with some help of his frienemy Blossom that he can communicate with the afterlife and that there is a ghost named Inez and her dog in his family barn. Know he must find out where the ghosts body is and give it a Christian burial son she can rest in peace. But the whole town learns of the ghost and tries to find her. Eventually though the body of the ghost after Alexander’s great uncle tells them where sh ...more
Bart Hopkins
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I frequently find myself wishing for the option to use half-stars in ratings. My true rating for this would be 4.5 stars.

First, in a world I feel frequently encourages children to advance too quickly, this is a pleasant YA book. It provides wholesome entertainment. No worries about cursing or drugs; and, there is only the most innocent reference to boy-girl things. Sure, I believe in preparing kids for the real world, but it's nice to give them this type of option. I prefer it.

In regard to the s
Rick Bavera
This is a wonderful and humorous story. The historical setting is a vehicle for presenting some interesting facts from the era--setting is 1913 Illinois.
The first person account-style is reminiscent of the Henry Reed books of Keith roberston.

The main character is Alexander, who doubts the existence of ghosts. His experience in the story, as well as the acceptance by others, helps him change his mind.

The "flatness" of the characters in the early part of the book is how a 13-yr+old would see oth
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
I read this when I was a child, and it stuck with me. When you're thirty nine years old and suddenly have the compulsion to find a book from your childhood, you reread it. Richard Peck paints a clear and fantastic picture of a young boy who discovers a ghost in his barn thanks to a nosey (but ultimately delightful) neighbor girl. The book takes place in the early 1900s, which is a time period that not many mid-level books are written about.

When I say I'd read this again, I'm obviously not kiddi
Jul 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars
I was a little bit underwhelmed because I was like well it's Richard Peck, how bad can it be? And it was hilarious, just like most of his books are. I liked it, but not a ton. It wasn't as engaging or heartwarming as Long Way From Chicago or A Year Down Yonder but ofc it had the Richard Peck flavor to it and it was still well-written, so I can't complain too much.

*sry, ik this is a terrible review. It was written a long time ago and I don't normally rewrite reviews for books I rate 3 stars*
S. Div.
Dec 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
This book is a children's classic. It's a wonderfully powerful story of relationships beyond the veil. If you are someone who sees spirits this book is one of your best guides. I loved this story as a child. As an adult who works with spirits and those in form, I recommend this book to my clients who see spirits and want to learn how to respond to them compassionately. It is indeed a children's book with lessons from which everyone can learn. ...more
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Set in the early 1900s and set in an undefined smallish town in the Midwest, this book follows a boy named Alexander. After he is told by a classmate and neighbor, Blossom, there is a ghost in his barn loft, he investigates reluctantly to discover it's true; the ghost must be laid to rest, and his life is never the same. I felt like reading a YA ghost story, and this is definitely a good one. ...more
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to escape into an easy read and as I was scanning my bookshelves I glanced over the young adult section and decided to dive into some of the books that shaped me into the reader that I am today. This series still delights me to this day and it was like greeting old friends when I opened the cover.
B.B. Free
May 22, 2016 rated it liked it
It begins a bit slow, and the language may be tricky at first for young adult readers, its intended audience. However, it does develop into an endearing story where the main characters, two conscientious youths, commit to the task of making old wrongs right.
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, ya
Read this as a tween, and I remember thinking it was slow and clunky. I never read the rest of the series.
Pop Bop
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Tastes A Bit Like Twain

I have no reluctance about comparing Richard Peck to Mark Twain. Like Twain's "Tom Sawyer" there is much in Peck's books that a middle grader will find ripping and that an adult reader will appreciate and enjoy as well. Peck's America is Post-World War I/Depression Era America, and that period is woefully underrepresented in middle grade literature. While his most enduring and classic books include "A Year Down Yonder", "A Long Way From Chicago", "Fair Weather", and a few
Ashley Lambert-Maberly
This is a high 4--I'm trying so hard to reserve 5 for the Charlotte's Webs of the world, and not squander it on a book that's just really, really, really good. What great writing! The characters were so well-drawn, the family dynamic charming, and the scenes of domestic drama were every bit as thrilling--perhaps more so--than any of the paranormal sequences. It was a constant delight throughout, and I snapped up the next in the sequence immediately upon finishing it last night (thank heavens for ...more
Jun 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Blossom Culp has aged really well! In the hands of a modern writer, she'd probably be on the streets, selling drugs, stealing, in and out of the hands of whatever government agency removes children from unfit parents. But, in this book written in the 70s and set in the early teens, instead she's a forward, determined, quick-witted young miss, who knows what she wants and does pretty well at getting it. As seen through the eyes of the narrator, a boy her own age, she is a pest and a horror.

Peck d
Jul 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I remembered seeing the Disney adaptation of this as a child (they called it "Child of Glass"). The ghostly apparition of a girl asking a young boy for help to solve a riddle and her death obviously stayed with me so I was pleasantly surprised to find this book (I usually find the book better than the movie). And true enough, it was an excellent read! It is set in the early 1900's and the main character Alex goes through many adventures in order to help solve the mystery of ghost girl's death so ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: The Ghost Belonged to Me 3 18 Dec 27, 2014 09:46AM  

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Richard Peck was an American novelist known for his prolific contributions to modern young adult literature. He was awarded the Newbery Medal in 2001 for his novel A Year Down Yonder. For his cumulative contribution to young-adult literature, he received the Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association in 1990.

Other books in the series

Blossom Culp (4 books)
  • Ghosts I Have Been (Blossom Culp, #2)
  • The Dreadful Future of Blossom Culp (Blossom Culp, #3)
  • Blossom Culp and the Sleep of Death (Blossom Culp, #4)

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