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Pleasing the Ghost [School & Library Binding]

Sharon Creech , Stacey Schuett
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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School & Library Binding, September 1997 --  
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Book Description

September 1997
Ever since Dennis' father died, a parade of friendly ghosts has been passing through his bedroom. So he isn't surprised when the ghost of his Uncle Arvie shows up. But Arvie seems to want something from Dennis. How Dennis figures out how to please his ghost is a funny yet touching story of love, loss, confusion, and understanding.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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From Publishers Weekly

This simultaneously sensitive and ridiculous romp by a Newbery-winning author (Walk Two Moons) begins as spunky nine-year-old Dennis explains that ghosts keep visiting him in his bedroom?"a constant parade of ghosts, but never the one I really want." Pining for his late father, Dennis instead finds himself host to a motley crew of spirits, in particular his Uncle Arvie. Arvie wants Dennis to help his widow, Aunt Julia, discover the gifts and money he has left hidden for her in his house. Unfortunately, a stroke he suffered before his death prevents him from finding the appropriate vocabulary to convey his meaning. Kids will enjoy deciphering Arvie's speech: "Good carpet, Dinosaur!" translates as "Good morning, Dennis!"; Aunt Julia's oily suitor and Billy, the class bully, are "beany boogers." Dennis's much-missed father?his "pepperoni"?never does appear, but the boy finds common ground and a possible friendship with Billy, also fatherless. Arvie's earnest affection for Julia and Dennis makes him a role model as well as a clown, and Creech's attention to nuances of feeling grounds this light tale in emotional truth. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5-A disappointing tale about a boy led on a treasure hunt by a ghost. Dennis, nine, has received a parade of spectral visitors since his father's death, though none, alas, is the one he wishes to see. Occasionally, the boy recognizes deceased family members, including his late Uncle Arvie, who wishes to pass on messages to his widow, Julia. Because Arvie's speech was garbled in life by a severe stroke, helping him communicate is no easy task for Dennis. Ultimately, however, Arvie leads him to a small fortune, which will ensure Julia's lifelong comfort. In a subplot, Dennis proves to a disbelieving classmate that his ability to see ghosts is real. This story falls short on several fronts. Character development is particularly ineffective. Dennis, for example, is so easily absorbed in Arvie's affairs that it is difficult, if not impossible, to perceive him as a boy grieving for his father. While linguistic problems are caused by strokes, Arvie's nonsense syllables seem exaggerated to the point of caricature, thus creating an offensive effect. Billy, Dennis's classmate who also lost his father, thinks Dennis is making fun of him with his talk of ghosts, and in retaliation, smashes several windows in his home. In a tale obviously meant to be lighthearted, Billy's anger seems extreme and inappropriate. The ending reflects Dennis's hopes of someday seeing his father's ghost, but by this point, readers may not care enough about him to wonder whether or not it ever happens.
Mary Jo Drungil, Niles Public Library District, IL
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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I'm Dennis, your basic, ordinary nine-year old boy, and usually I live a basic, ordinary life. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-stretched originality. April 15 2014
By Carolyn TOP 500 REVIEWER
I’ve had wonderful luck with children’s stories crossing my path. "<b>Pleasing The Ghost</b>", 1996, was an accidental buy because I mistook <b>Sharon Creech</b> for Canadian <i>Sandra Birdsell</i>. The paranormal was appealing nonetheless and something about the description promised a story that would be memorable. It is. It is never too sad and the degree of originality stretches the limits of fiction’s craft. I usually ignore chapter headings in avoidance of titular spoilers but <b>Sharon’s</b> are truly in code, expressing a greater whimsy than I have ever seen! The meaning behind the bizarre headings account a great deal for what I praise.

A boy’s Father passed away of illness shortly after a much loved uncle, <i>Arvie</i>. At night, when a certain wind ignites the air at his bedroom window, ghosts begin to appear. <i>Dennis</i> would rather see his Father more than anyone in the world. He doesn’t know the ghosts, until a Great-Grandmother and his cherished elderly cat pay a brief visit. His uncle <i>Arvie</i>, the next guest, stays a while longer because he needs <i>Dennis’s</i> help with three important errands. It is he who speaks in a garbling of valid English words because in the last years of life, a stroke had effected his speech. <b>Sharon</b> brings this to life in the story, not only causing three mysteries that need unravelling but also providing compassion and education about what a stroke can be like.

All of the errands are for his wife and I immediately felt I would love <i>Julia</i> to be my aunt! So poised and so calm is she, that even when coming upon <i>Dennis</i> uprooting a rosebush; there is no accusation, no sharp burst of temper. She merely states that she hopes <i>Dennis</i> has a reason for the rowdy scene, giving him indeed full opportunity to explain.
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5.0 out of 5 stars one of the greatest books June 25 2001
By A Customer
I think this book was phenemenal. It is about a "regular" boy who encounters a ghost. Unfortunutly this wasn't what he really wanted, although he does have an interest in this peculiar ghost. I would encourage kids to read this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars one of the greatest books June 25 2001
By A Customer
I think this book was phenemenal. It is about a "regular" boy who encounters a ghoast. unfortunutly this wasn't what he really wanted, although he does have an interest in this peculiar ghost. I would encourage kids to read this book. I am 11 years old.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasing the Ghost June 20 2001
By A Customer
If you have ever had a ghost come through your window, you can relate to Dennis. He is a regular nine-year old boy, but odd things happen to him, like he get's visted by ghosts.But the main ghost is his Uncle Arvie, who asked for three pleases, (meaning three favors.) While doing the three pleases, one more promblem gets in the way. The school bully, Billy doesn't belive he can see ghosts,and he must show him before Billy breakes all the window's in his house! All the three pleases have somthing to do with Uncle Arvie's wife. A painting unfinised, digging up his wife's favorite roshbush, and a sweet poem. Now, if this sounds like a good book to you, you can get it under Sharon Creech Pleasing the Ghost at your local libary. What are you doing just sitting around? Go get it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book! Jan. 14 2001
By A Customer
I liked the characters in this book. There was also a great plot and a good ending. I couldn't put this book down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Read Aloud Jan. 21 2000
I read this book last year to 2nd 3rd 4th and 5th graders and just finished reading it to this year's 2nd grade. The kids enjoyed figuring out what Uncle Arvie was talking about. Even though we only read it once a week the students remembered, talked about, and were very anxious for library day so we could read more. It is a touching love story, a not so scary ghost story, but most of all a very funny book. Unlike some other reviewers I recommend this book to students from 2nd grade up. Also I would say that it IS as well written as Creeches other books, just written for a younger audience. I'm hoping that she will write more about Dennis and his visiting ghosts. When I finished it today I made a waiting list to read it and over half of the kids signed up. I guess I need a few more copies. Find some kids and read it to them, it will be fun for all of you!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A HILARIOUS NOVEL Nov. 25 1999
By Breanne
"Pleasing the Ghost", was a fairly good book but compared to "The B.F.G.". " The B.F.G.," was a better book. Even though "The B.F.G." was better, the two novels were almost the same. Sophie, and orphan girl, saw the Big Friendly Giant and Dennis, a boy who lost his father, can see ghosts. The other thing was the B.F.G. and Uncle Arvie spoke a weird language. (B.F.G.-"Am I right or left" (right or wrong); Uncle Arvie - foodle a doodle (need a ghost) One more thing they had in common was they had a mission to do. For Dennis it was to figure out Uncle Arvie's three pleases and for Sophie it was to stop those nine blood-sucking giants.
I liked the book "Pleasing the Ghost" because of the hilarious language that was very challenging to figure out what the words meant. Uncle Arvie is my favouite character in the novel because he was acting terrible when Colin (Beaney-booger) gave Aunt Julia chocolates and Uncle Arvie smashed them. Also to drive Colin away, Uncle Arvie pinched Colin and he thought they were wasps or bees. My least favourite character was Billy Baker (another Beaney-Booger!)Even though he is mean he also lost his father and he can see ghost and doesn't even know it!
I liked this book but that is only my opinion. I would recommed this book to anyone with a sense of humor.
RATE =] =] =] =] =] (look at your moitor sideways)
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