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Alphin, Elaine Marie.
New York : Henry Holt, 2001.
IL 5.8, RL 7.6
ISBN 0805061584

(3 booktalks)

Booktalk #!

Alexander doesn't need any more problems; he has enough of his own. On a visit to a Civil War battlefield in North Carolina, he encounters the ghost of a young Confederate soldier who is looking for a buried note left in a box he can't open. Can Alexander possible help solve this one hundred-year-old mystery?  (Jean B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2003-2004)

Booktalk #2

                    Alexander has an extraordinary gift.  He can see ghosts.  Now these are not just any ghosts, but historical figures from hundreds of years ago.  Twice in his life he has been able to peer through a portal in time and watch history repeat itself.  These two times however, were before his mom disappeared.  Right before his tenth birthday, his mom left without a word.  Alexander is convinced that she will return, but his father has moved on with his life by filing for a divorce and meeting another woman.

                    Mad at life, Alexander is forced to spend his spring break with his dadís new girlfriend and her two children in North Carolina.  Yet as he tries to find a place of peace and quiet away from the family, he stumbles across the familiar aroma of oranges that could only mean one thing: there are ghost nearby.  Excited about the opportunity to see more ghosts, Alexander finds himself in a tough situation when the ghost sees him and begs him for help.

                    How could Alexander possibly help a ghost?  What does the ghost want from him?  Will the ghost leave him alone if he refuses or will he be haunted for the rest of his life?  Find out what happens to Alexander.  Read Ghost Soldier by Elaine Marie Alphin.  (Sandra M. Brundage, USC-MLIS Intern,

Booktalk #3

Alexander is a lonely thirteen year old who lives in Indiana with his dad who is a computer geek. Alexander strongly believes that his mom who deserted him and his dad three years ago is going to come back. Alexander shares a secret that he has inherited from his mom and this is his ability to see ghosts. During his spring break from school, Alexander reluctantly goes with his dad to North Carolina. His dad is anxious for Alexander to meet a woman that he wants to marry. Alexander becomes angry and hurt and does not want any changes in his family's life. He wants his mother to return. His father knows that it's time to move on; but Alex isn't ready to make this change and move on with his life. Alexander's vacation takes a turn when he ends up in Petersburg, an old Civil War battlefield, expecting to see nothing more than a few trenches and a historical reenactment but Alexanderís trouble deepens when the ghost of a young Confederate Soldier named Richeson Francis Chamblee, asks for Alex's help. Will Alexander help Rich find out what happened to his family during the Civil war, especially his beloved sister, Louise? In Ghost Soldier by Elaine Marie Alphin can Alexander help this troubled ghost, and can he, finally, come to terms with his own disturbing past?  (Becky Proctor,, school librarian)

SUBJECTS:     Ghosts -- Fiction.
                        North Carolina -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Fiction.
                        Brothers and sisters -- Fiction.
                        Fathers and sons -- Fiction.
                        Durham (N.C.) -- Fiction.
                        United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Fiction.
                        Historical fiction.


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