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Fleischman, Sid.
New York : Harper, 2004
IL 3-6, RL 4.4
ISBN 0060722169

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Touch is a young boy who is riding in a coach on his way to Cricklewood, New Hampshire.  There are three passengers on the coach – Touch, Mr. Hobbs, the blacksmith, and the mysterious Otis Cratt.  Touch is an orphan and is off to meet his uncle.  On the way, Touch hears the tale of The Great Chaffalo who was a great magician who could turn straw into a horse.  But Chaffalo passed away long ago and is now a ghost that some have seen. When the coach arrives in Cricklewood, Mr. Hobbs invites Touch to join him for breakfast at the inn.  There he meets the innkeeper, Sally.  There are no guests at the inn.  It is said to be haunted by the ghost of a guest who checked in but disappeared.  When Touch meets his uncle, he is not impressed.  The judge tries to cheat Touch out of his inheritance, but Touch runs away.  And he sees Otis Cratt leaving the judge’s house.  Touch must keep hidden as his uncle has threatened to send him to the orphan’s home.  When Touch asks Sally if he can hide at the inn, Sally tells him that the judge is also pressuring Sally to sell him the inn.  Sally feels she has no choice since there are no guests and the bills need to be paid. Can Touch find a way to help them both?

SUBJECTS:   Magicians -- Fiction.
Ghosts -- Fiction.
Orphans -- Fiction.
Adventure and adventurers -- Fiction.
Ghost stories.
Adventure fiction.

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