The Ghosts of Rathburn Park by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

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Eleven-year-old Matthew Hamilton–a.k.a. The Hamster–is new in town, and just about the first thing he does is get lost in the woods of Rathburn Park. It’s a typical boneheaded thing to do, and Matt is trying to decide whether starvation is preferable to the embarrassment of a rescue party when a little dog trots past him. Matt senses that the dog wants him to follow, but as soon as they emerge from the trees, the dog vanishes.

Matt keeps wondering about the dog as he starts to learn more about the town’s strange past. Owned by a wealthy family named Rathburn, the whole town burned down decades ago and was rebuilt nearby. The old ruins are still hidden in the forest, too rickety and dangerous to go near. But they are also best avoided for another reason–ghosts. Still, Matt can’t resist looking for the dog, and as he’s looking, he meets a girl dressed in antique clothes who calls herself Amelia Rathburn. Are she and the dog both ghosts? Or is there another explanation for the strange goings-on in Rathburn Park?

About Zilpha Keatley Snyder

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Zilpha Keatley Snyder was born in 1927 and raised in California. She attended Whittier College in Southern California. While ultimately planning to be a writer, after graduation Snyder decided to teach school temporarily. But she found teaching to be an extremely rewarding experience and taught in the upper elementary grades for a total of nine years, three of them as a master teacher for the University of California at Berkeley. After all of her children were in school, Snyder began to think of writing again, and her first book, Season of Ponies, was published in 1964. Snyder's three Newbery Honor books are: The Egypt Game, The Headless Cupid,and The Witches Of Worm. Other award winning books are The Trespassers, an American Bookseller Pick of the List and Cat Running, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and winner of the 1995 John and Patricia Beatty Award.
Published October 8, 2002 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers. 192 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

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After talking to the town librarian and reading Timber City, Phoenix of the Northwest, Matt learns about Rover, the beloved dog that belonged to the long-dead foreman at the Rathburn lumber mill, along with many local legends about the wealthy Rathburn family.

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