THE HAUNTING OF HOLROYD HILLThe plot is tight and moves swiftly. Refreshingly, the adults are normal (even the supposedly nasty neighbor). --School Library Journal
Seabrooke weaves Civil War history and a tragic love story into a fast-paced, intriguing murder mystery-cum-ghost story that is successful on all levels...the stories of the two ghosts may be entwined, and the search for answers becomes an irresistible challenge. --Booklist
Cover illustration copyright Daniel R. Horne, 1997
THE ORIGINS OF THIS BOOK
I wrote this book after hearing unexplainable sequences of footsteps in our brand-new house built over a pre-Civil War road on a hill in Virginia. I learned that the hill had been the site of Union camps during the Civil War. Then I heard about a skeleton in a Union uniform with a bullet in his ribcage discovered during a building excavation. I wove these into a tale about the Battle of First Manassas because to me, history is a fascinating story of people whose lives are affected by the events of their time.
- You can stand up for yourself.
- You can solve problems by working together.
- You can face your fears.
- Sometimes you must do things you dont want to because it is the right thing to do
- Look up the mortality rates for childbirth in 1861 and 1991. Discuss reasons for the disparity.
- Melinda, Dan, and Kevin are amateur archaeologists. Write to museums and universities for information on real sleuthing into the past.
- Visit a museum to see relics of the past. If there is no museum in the area, create one in the class, perhaps focusing on local history and natural history or the history of the class members.
- Discuss your local history. If it has not been published, make this a project for the class to put together and publish on computer.
- How would this book have been different if it had been written from Dans point of view? Kevins? Rajs?
- Why do Melinda, Dan, and Kevin make jokes when they are scared? How does humor help in difficult situations?
- Explore Melindas character. What were her fears in the beginning? How does she overcome them in the end?
- Collect ghost stories and compile them in the class. Try to set them within an historical framework.
QUOTES TO QUESTION
- You stay away from that girl. Shes a bad apple. (p. 16)
- Our ghost is depending on us, Melinda said. (p. 53)
- They dug in silence until Kevin uncovered the ribcage and almost fainted. (p.69)
- I dont think it was murder. I mean, if a soldier killed another soldier after a battle, thats not considered murder. (p.84)
- When Mom came in to kiss her good night, she looked at the book title. Giving up on ghosts? (p.89)
- Maybe he was only antisocial to kids. (p. 100)
- No, she screamed aloud. You get away from my brother. (p.128)
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