Saturday, February 22, 2020

Scholastic book cover: "The Ghost Rock Mystery"

  • Title: The Ghost Rock Mystery
  • Author: Mary C. Jane (1909-1991)
  • About the author: I included her biographical information in this 2014 post about Mystery by Moonlight. One of the author's relatives wrote to Papergreat in 2017, which I included in this 2017 post. And, on Goodreads, check out one person's wonderful tale of actually meeting Mary C. Jane.
  • Cover illustrator: Gerald McCann (1916-1995)
  • Publisher: Scholastic Book Services (TX 334)
  • Cover price: 35 cents
  • Year: First printing, August 1962 (first published in 1956)
  • Pages: 122
  • Format: Paperback
  • Provenance/destination: Much like the last book I featured, I'm fairly certain I picked this up at a used book sale. After this post is finished, it will be donated to a Little Free Library or book sale.
  • Excerpt from back cover: "If Janice and Tommy are to help Aunt Annabelle, they must prove that Mountain View House is not really haunted. And there is no time to lose."
  • Some chapter titles: "Trouble for the Border Patrol," "But Not After Midnight!" and "The Pride of the Border Patrol"
  • Dedication: "To my favorite Vermonters Dorothy Canfield Fisher and Jessie Wheeler Freeman"
  • First sentence: "When Janice saw the pink envelope in the mailbox her heart leaped joyfully."
  • Last sentence: [Omitted because it's a spoiler.]
  • Random sentence from the middle: "They ate their gingerbread and cream in a silence that was disturbed only by the swish of the rain against the windows."
  • Rating on Goodreads: 4.02 stars (out of 5)
  • Goodreads review excerpt #1: In 2017, Tania wrote: "There are a few topics that might be considered hot button issues today, such as illegal border crossings, but I felt they were handled in a way that children would understand both then and now."
  • Goodreads review excerpt #2: In 2012, Holly wrote: "I just want to make mention of how much this book confused me as a child with the description of aliens. I didn't understand this meant people illegally in a country. I was imagining them carrying little green men across the countryside on horses, which was completely out of sync with the rest of the story."
  • Unrelated personal recommendation of modern novel about border crossings: Signs Preceding the End of the World, by Yuri Herrera (translated by Lisa Dillman)
  • Rating on Amazon: 4.8 stars (out of 5)
  • Amazon review: In 2014, GJ wrote: "I first read this book as a child in the early 70s. I would love to curl up with it in my bed on a stormy night, and usually stayed up all night until I finished reading the entire book. Having long since lost my copy, I was delighted to find it again on Amazon. Reading it again brought back wonderful memories. I still love this little book, and highly recommend it to children."
  • And a great link: For a deep dive into Mary C. Jane and a look at some wonderful book covers, check out this 2005 post by Shawn Purcell on The Journal of the Independent Online Booksellers Association.

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