Welcome to one of the November 30th review stops on the blog tour for The Ghost of Walhachin by Ramona Nehring-Silver, organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for 7 other reviews and a giveaway! (More on that at the end of this post.)
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About the Book
The Ghost of Walhachin
by Ramona Nehring-Silver
Published 8 March 2020
by Tellwell Talent
Genre: Middle Grade Historical Fiction
Page Count: 115
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
A ghost, time travel, and unusual friendships await Kean in Walhachin. Kean feels displaced at his home in Seattle since his mother recently re-married and has chosen to spend the summer in the small desert town with his aunt and younger cousin. Not long after arriving, he regrets his decision. There is no one his age. The town is too small for public amenities. Then everything changes when he uncorks an old soda bottle that was made in Walhachin eighty years prior. He becomes embroiled in an adventure to try and help a ghost retrieve a much-needed item from the past. In his quest to help the ghost he discovers the town’s spirited history and develops unusual friendships with an old man in the present and a young boy in the past.
“The Ghost of Walhachin is an unusual ghost story. It’s not spooky; instead, it’s an engaging tale of adventure and enduring friendships, with a slice of history.” – Helen Davies
Goosebumps crept up the back of Kean’s neck. As he slowly turned to examine the room, he spotted the green mist up in the corner near the door. It wasn’t spreading around the room like a stench.
“What are you doing to me? Open the bottle,” the voice pleaded.
No one was in the room.
“Who said that?” Kean blurted, then lifted his feet onto the bed and leaned over to see under the bed.
“Who? Where are you?” Kean’s knuckles turned white from gripping the bottle
“Right here! Close the curtains. It’s too bright in here.”
“What are you talking about? Where are you?”
“It’ll help if you close the curtains.” The voice sounded impatient but friendly.
Kean slowly stood on the bed, backed toward the window and closed the curtains. “There. Now, where are you?” he asked, looking around the room.
His eyes stopped on the mist. It had gotten brighter in the darkened room and formed a boy’s head and shoulders, with one arm attached.
“Ahhhhh!” Kean backed into the far corner of his bed, not taking his eyes off the shape.”
My Rating: 4 Stars
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I was given a complimentary review copy of The Ghost of Walhachin by the author through Goddess Fish Promotions in exchange for an honest review as part of my participation in the blog tour. This has not swayed my opinion. My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
The Ghost of Walhachin is the story of a boy named Kean from Seattle who spends his summer in the tiny town of Walhachin with his aunt and cousin. When he finds an old soda bottle containing a ghost, the summer adventure of a lifetime begins! Kean has to help this remnant of the past find an object left behind and, in the process, makes some dear friends.
This is definitely one I would like to revisit when my daughter is old enough for middle grade, because it was a lot of fun! All of the characters were so easy to latch onto and cheer for, and the setting is pleasantly quaint. I love the concept of finding a ghost in a soda bottle and going on a quest to help him, and I love the opportunity to explore an old rail town. Fun fact: I currently live in Newfoundland, which used to have a railroad but it was decommissioned in the 1980s and there are no intact tracks left in the province outside of museum properties. Finding random old spikes here and there on what used to be the rail beds and are now public walking trails is like finding tangible pieces of the past. My husband grew up here and hadn’t seen a real train until his first trip to visit my family in BC. He literally stood at the edge of the river in a dog part and watched a 300+ car cargo train go by on the other side while the rest of us played with the dogs and paid no attention. It was humbling to see that contrast in our lives, him in awe of a relic from the past that was so normal to me I ignored it. So reading about a kid exploring a setting from my home province, and one where rail used to be a big thing and isn’t anymore, was sentimental and charming.
That said, I do wish we got more exploration of that aspect of the past. It sounds like this town could fill many books with interesting stories of its heyday. Perhaps an encore is needed?
I did go through and read other reviews after finishing the book, as I often do to see if others noticed or commented on the same things I’m thinking about, and I’m seeing a lot of people complaining that the book went by too fast and that the characters and plot points were quite predictable. It did go fast, and they certainly were, but this is middle grade. The kids this is written for don’t have the wealth of experience we adults reviewing it do. And it’s just over 100 pages, so of course it went fast! This is an older reader’s light afternoon read, but a child’s whole week. I think it’s well suited to its audience.
About the Author
Ramona Nehring-Silver’s memories of living in and around Walhachin as a child and exploring the surroundings with seven siblings provided the initial inspirations for The Ghost of Walhachin. Ongoing motivation, and sometimes interruptions, came from her four children and thirteen grandchildren. She now lives in the far northeast corner of British Columbia, where her teaching career has ranged from adult art and writing classes to elementary school. Exploring B.C. and beyond by motorcycle is her favorite thing to do, as well as spending time with her grandchildren.
“The Ghost of Walhachin is an unusual ghost story. It’s not spooky; instead, it’s an engaging tale of adventure and enduring friendships, with a slice of history.” – Helen Davies – Tellwell Editor
One lucky follower of the tour will walk away with a $20 gift card to either Amazon of Barnes & Noble, winner’s choice! Don’t forget to visit other stops on the tour:
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