What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

Jumping Jack
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SOLVED: Children's/YA > SOLVED. Kids fiction: Boy meets ghost of girl who fell down mine shaft, she saves him when he falls down one [s]

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message 1: by Holly (last edited Mar 03, 2012 03:39PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Holly (liddygally) | 43 comments I think the plot went that a boy moved into a new house and started school, but there was a girl in the classroom who only he could see (when the teacher told him to sit at an empty desk, he is confused because she is sitting there). They become friends (I think her name MIGHT have been Jenny, but I'm not sure).

Later, he finds an old newspaper in his house that tells the story of how the girl fell down a mine shaft and they didn't find her until too late. At the end of the story, the boy ends up falling down one of the mine shafts and the ghost girl manages to somehow lead rescuers to him.

Edit: Also, I don't think the ghost could speak to him in words


message 2: by Pogue (new)

Pogue (nulaanne) | 113 comments See if it is The Ghost Belonged to Me it is by Richard Beck. It sounds like the one you are talking about, but I am not sure.


Holly (liddygally) | 43 comments Hi Stephanie, I'm afraid not - though it was a good guess! I've actually read a few books in that series though. Thanks for replying :)


message 4: by Sara ♥ (last edited Mar 02, 2012 04:48PM) (new)

Sara ♥ (saranicole) | 141 comments Are you sure this wasn't a movie? I think I've seen it. Could be based on a book though. I'll ask my mom.

EDIT: The movie is called Child of Glass, but apparently it's based on The Ghost Belonged to Me, which Stephanie mentioned already! Funny!


message 5: by Pogue (new)

Pogue (nulaanne) | 113 comments Hi Sara, the movie was done by Disney and it was not bad. It is very hard to find a copy of. The book is much better.


Holly (liddygally) | 43 comments Those sound like interesting films; I'll have to see if I can find clips of them on youtube. It was definitely a book though - I remember it being illustrated with black and white pictures. Also, I'm from New Zealand, so there is a very slight chance this could be a book by an obscure NZ author.


message 7: by Megan (new)

Megan (Megan1988) | 5 comments I also read this book as a child and have been looking for it for ages it is definitely a book, I'm from England it was in my primary school, if anyone does know it I would love to read it again.


message 8: by D.M. (new)

D.M. Dutcher  | 340 comments Throwing this out there although I'm not quite sure it matches. Betty Ren Wright was an author of ghost stories for kids, and she wrote Ghosts Beneath Our Feet.

It's about a girl, not a boy though, who is helped by a ghost girl in a mining town.


Holly (liddygally) | 43 comments Thanks Dmdutcher; I'm afraid it's not that one though. It was definitely a boy. And Megan - I'm so pleased someone else at least remembers this book too! If you remember anything else about it that I haven't, add it to the thread. :)


message 10: by Megan (new)

Megan (Megan1988) | 5 comments I remember the boy starting school and his teacher telling him to take a seat and him not being able to see a spare one because he could see the little girl and then getting told off for sitting on the edge of the seat, I also vaguely remember him going into the school when it had shut and the classroom looking like it did when she was alive with old fashioned desks and benches! Hope this helps.


message 11: by Holly (last edited Apr 14, 2012 06:45PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Holly (liddygally) | 43 comments I'd forgotten the part where he saw the old-fashioned classroom, but otherwise I remember it exactly as you've described it! It's crazy I can remember so much of the plot, yet not be able to figure out the name of the book!

EDIT: I THINK it might be "Ghost in the Mine" by Richard Potts. The only thing is - I can't find a summary of this book to verify that!

Points in favour of it being the book I'm looking for are:
* It was first written in 1968
* Was illustrated by Charles Keeping
* Has "ghost" in the title (which would explain why I would have picked it up as I was reading on ghost themes at the time!)

EDIT: I just found a brief summary and it doesn't sound like it is that one after all.


message 12: by Megan (new)

Megan (Megan1988) | 5 comments I wish I could remember more I will keep trying, its books like this one that made me love to read!


message 13: by Chris (new)

Chris | 5 comments Has there been any breakthrough with this one?
This sounds like it could be the same book I've been trying to remember for a Long time. My memory was a lot more vague on it, but it sounds right. All I could remember was a boy with a friend who was a girl/ghost and something about an accident.


Holly (liddygally) | 43 comments Chris wrote: "Has there been any breakthrough with this one?
This sounds like it could be the same book I've been trying to remember for a Long time. My memory was a lot more vague on it, but it sounds right. ..."


No breakthrough yet, sorry Chris! It's driving me crazy - I would have thought that with that much information on the plot I'd be able to find out what the book is!! If I ever do, I'll post here.


message 15: by Andria (new)

Andria (airdna) | 2500 comments Mod
Maybe The Haunted Mine by Harry Castlemon? I'm trying to find a summary of it now...


Holly (liddygally) | 43 comments Andria wrote: "Maybe The Haunted Mine by Harry Castlemon? I'm trying to find a summary of it now..."

I looked at that one on Project Gutenberg, but I'm afraid it's not the book I'm thinking of... thanks anyway!


message 17: by Charlene (new)

Charlene | 1 comments I'm now almost 30 and I remember this book. It's not "Ghosts Beneath our Feet" as I've just re read this book. But I do remember the boy coming to a new town and being in class where only he can see the ghost of the girl... I posted this exact question on another book forum about a year ago and nobody know who the author was or the name of the book.


message 18: by Kris (new)

Kris | 34317 comments Mod
Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol isn't the book, but it might have a similar plot and looks like an interested read.


Holly (liddygally) | 43 comments I can't believe how obscure this book is! So many people seem to remember it and a lot about it, yet no-one is able to find out the name, haha. Thanks everyone for your help. :)


message 20: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 6967 comments Mod
We will keep trying Holly. Just bump the thread every month or two, to keep it fresh in our minds and to catch the eye of new members.


Holly (liddygally) | 43 comments Wow, thanks for the suggestions. I was about 6 or 7 when I read it - so it's at least 20 years old and maybe even older.

I'm guessing that it was published in the 80s or very early 90s - I wouldn't think it would be older than the 70s. Good idea with searching for middle grade.

It's funny - there's a ghost book called "Through the Pink Wall" with a female ghost and boy who could see her, which I think is probably even lesser known than this one - yet I found a reference to it on the web! (That said, I could at least remember the title!)

Thanks again :)


message 22: by Chris (new)

Chris | 5 comments I would also guess 80s or early 90s. No telling just yet if we're actually thinking of the same book, but so far everything matches up.


message 23: by Kate (new)

Kate Farrell | 4072 comments Mod
Here's a link to a newer thread that sounds a lot like your book:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 24: by Chris (new)

Chris | 5 comments Wow. Finally a new lead. Alas, that's not the book I'm thinking of. Thanks, though!


Holly (liddygally) | 43 comments Yes, thank you for the suggestion and bumping the thread up. I almost feel I should re-write the book and wait for the impending plagiarism accusation to solve the mystery at this rate!


message 26: by Chris (new)

Chris | 5 comments One day google's image search will include an eye-scan feature & it will automatically pull up whatever you're trying to remember.


message 27: by Tori (new)

Tori | 1 comments Oh my gosh, I am so glad I found this thread! I cannot find anything regarding this book! Have you made any progress here? I would love to read this again, I have fond memories of books I read at school and this one haunted me for years. I can't remember the title but I'm almost certain the ghost girls name was Jenny as previously mentioned. Thanks!


message 28: by bookel (new)

bookel | 2106 comments Search results to check. https://www.worldcat.org/search?q=kw%...


message 29: by Gaea (new)

Gaea | 1 comments Holly wrote: "I think the plot went that a boy moved into a new house and started school, but there was a girl in the classroom who only he could see (when the teacher told him to sit at an empty desk, he is con..."

"A Certain Slant of Light" ?


Holly (liddygally) | 43 comments Sorry, no it's not that one - but i have read it and it is very good (well worth a read!) "A certain slant of light" was aimed more at a 12+ age, whereas the book i am thinking of was more for younger children. Thanks though! :)


message 31: by Tab (new)

Tab (tabbrown) | 4967 comments Holly, I apologize if it was already mentioned, but do you remember anything about the cover? Were there any illustrations in the book?

Do you remember other parts of the plot? Was the boy trying to solve the ghost's mystery? Could any of his friends see her? Did he have other friends?

Something about the book sounds so familiar. So many of us seem to remember it. It's bound to be found!


Holly (liddygally) | 43 comments Hey Tab,

Sorry,I don't have any clear memory of the cover. I do remember there were black and white illustrations every so often in the book.

I think the part where he went into the new classroom and there were all the kids sitting at their desks was illustrated, as well as the part where he found the newspaper.

Being new, he didn't have friends at first. I don't remember if he made any or how much he made an effort to solve Jenny's mystery. No-one else saw her as far as I can recall. The only part I'm sure they either saw her or saw a light she used to guide them, was when she led his searchers to the hole he'd fallen down.


message 33: by Megan (new)

Megan (Megan1988) | 5 comments So many people remember this book! Obviously made a big impact on us all.


message 34: by bookel (new)

bookel | 2106 comments http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=kw%3...

Try these search results. If ghost is in the summary it could be one of those.


Holly (liddygally) | 43 comments I've looked through pages of the worldcat results, bookel, thanks! Still no luck, as the book appears elusive as ever :)


message 36: by Janet (new)

Janet | 80 comments Somebody already mentioned Anya's Ghost, could that be it? The plot is quite similar with a boy, a girl, a classroom, a ghostly rescue from a well. The main difference is that the genders are switched - the ghost is a boy, the main character is a girl.


Holly (liddygally) | 43 comments Yeah, it was definitely a living boy and ghost girl! It is a similar sounding plot though!


message 38: by Lucy (new)

Lucy | 5 comments I've been looking for this book for years too! I read it in school in 1996-1997. I remember her name being Jenny too. I think the cover was blue-ish with Jenny featured on it as blonde?


message 39: by Jo (last edited Jan 13, 2014 02:42PM) (new)

Jo | 2 comments Well I read the book I think you mean at a Northamptonshire primary school when I was 9. My daughter is now 8 and so I just did a quick search for it which led me here. My memory is hazy, except it was a boy, there was a mine shaft and a dog and it gripped me so much I remember putting it back on the bookshelf feeling sad to be letting it go. In my head he went back in time. I would love to find it.


message 40: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2 comments Sorry I meant to say I was 9 in 1983!!!


message 41: by Pogue (new)

Pogue (nulaanne) | 113 comments I have not read this book so I am not sure what to look for. I found this site http://the_book_shelf.tripod.com/chil... it might be here but there are pages and pages. If it is here let us all know what the book is. I want to read it.


Holly (liddygally) | 43 comments Thanks! I searched through some, but no luck yet!


Holly (liddygally) | 43 comments Bumpity-bump :)


message 44: by Annie (new)

Annie Powell | 1 comments I was searching for this book too and came across this thread. It had a profound effect on me at the time and I really want to read it again. The girl was definitely called Jenny. I am 29 and read it in primary school. Soooo frustrating that I can't remember its title!


message 45: by Kris (last edited Oct 15, 2014 07:54AM) (new)

Kris | 34317 comments Mod
Any chance this was one of a number of short stories in a book or UK textbook?


Holly (liddygally) | 43 comments Hey Annie, we're about the same age so it must've been of that time! Isn't it curious how so many people were intrigued enough by it to remember it years later?

Kris, although it's possible it could have been included in a book of short stories, I do remember reading it as a short novel in its own right.

I should go back to the drawing board and try searching again.


Holly (liddygally) | 43 comments I should bump this again and mention that the ghost element of the story was a non-threatening haunting.

It was sad and a mystery (kind of a lonliness theme - the boy being lonely at a new school and the ghost lonely in her solitude), rather than a spinechiller or horror story. Neither did it have the light-hearted humourous tone that some ghost stories do.


message 48: by Niamh (new)

Niamh King | 1 comments i think its called jumping jack.


Virginia | 3 comments I think it's Jumping Jack by David Wiseman...found this discussion on the internet while trying to track down the name of Jumping Jack. I didn't have any luck online but my sister found the book today so thought is share the authors name aswell. Hope it is the one you have been searching for!


message 50: by Andria (new)

Andria (airdna) | 2500 comments Mod
Jumping Jack for the link


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