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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ghosts in the Gallery by B.B. Wallace

Wallace B.B. (2000). Ghosts in the Gallery. Atheneum Books for Young Readers: New York.

Awards: Edgar Allan Poe Award, 2001
               Nominated for an Edgar Award
Annotation: In this historical mystery novel, eleven-year-old Jenny is all alone in the world when her parents die and is sent to live with her grandfather she has never meet.

Book Talk: Traveling from China to America she is put into the hands of strangers on her long voyage to her grandfathers. When she finally arrives there is no one to meet her, the letter her mother sent before she died saying she was coming never arrived. Her father’s relatives don’t believe who she says she is condemned to a dark cellar room to live a life of a servant.  The dower Madame Duray cuts off her beautiful golden hair and warns her not to trust anyone in the house.  Lost and confused she herself starts to feel like a stranger.

“she found herself looking into the mirror over the chest. In the end it turned out to be impossible, and she found herself staring into the dulled the spotted image of a waif with the sunken face made ghostly pale form weariness and misery. And were had hung sunny, golden ringlets, there was nothing left but untidy, scraggly wisps of hair. It was a face Jenny hardly recognized as hers. It was in terrible truth the face of yet another stranger!”

Jenny can’t trust anyone and needs to un-puzzle the mystery and work through deception, treachery, and betrayal to find the truth of who she really is.
Jacket illustration copyright 2000 by Richard Williams
Jacket design by Michael Nelson