A Good Night for Ghosts (Magic Tree House, Book 42) by Mary Pope Osborne

By Mary Pope Osborne

Jack and Annie are on their moment undertaking to find--and inspire--artists to carry happiness to hundreds of thousands. After touring to New Orleans, Jack and Annie come nose to nose with a few genuine ghosts, in addition to detect the realm of jazz once they meet a tender Louis Armstrong!

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Extra info for A Good Night for Ghosts (Magic Tree House, Book 42)

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Robson states: ‘“[h]istorically speaking it was … an afterthought on the author’s part; artistically, it is the reason for which the whole book exists”’ (quoted in Hunt 101). Green suggests that Grahame was much affected by some kind of visionary experience which provided the source for the chapter concerned (84), and it was clearly important to Grahame to express this in some way, presumably for himself as much as for any reader. In this chapter, it is impossible to separate the figure of Pan, who makes such an impact on Mole and Rat, from the place in which they hear his music.

This foregrounding of imaginative power reminds us of the ways that more modern girls’ books also privilege imaginative exploration; just as Sara and Mary exercise their mental capabilities to counter the problems which face them, Nancy must always use her intellect to anticipate a criminal’s next move. While The Secret Garden and A Little Princess may not be conventional mysteries, the imaginative power of Burnett’s heroines locates them as early figures in the tradition of the many mystery series which represent women as empowered, albeit in often flawed or problematic ways.

This kind of treatment of the mystery of evil, generally making use of images Frye associates with both the comic and the tragic visions (432), works better than some of the attempts by more traditional Christian writers to depict evil. Lewis’s White Witch in the Narnia series appears slightly stagey, while Tolkien’s depiction of Gollum in The Hobbit (1937) evokes too much pathos for him to be seen as absolutely evil. The fact that Lewis and Tolkien were respectively Anglican and Roman Catholic, and relatively ‘orthodox’ in their beliefs about good and evil, perhaps inclined them to set the mystery of evil within a framework which renders it less convincing to those who do not share their theological interpretations.

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