The Mapmaker and the Ghost

246p. Walker. 2012. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8027-2340-6.
Gr 3–6—When her best friend moves away, 11-year-old Goldenrod Moram tries to think of a project that will keep her busy during the long summer before school starts. She loves looking at and making maps and she idolizes Lewis and Clark. She decides to create a map of her town and convinces her mother to let her explore beyond the one-mile radius that has been her unsupervised exploring limit. She begins by setting out to map the forest area at the edge of town. Along the way, she has a series of adventures that include a mysterious old woman who sends her on a magical search, a gang of colorful would-be thieves, and, most surprisingly, an encounter with the ghost of Meriwether Lewis, who makes his own demands on her time. In this debut novel, Tash has created a memorable cast of characters and a story that combines both humor and suspense. Goldenrod is on a mission, and nothing will deter this determined girl. When the Gross Out Gang captures her curious little brother, just enough danger is created to keep readers in suspense. Children are sure to enjoy this combination of an intrepid heroine, some slightly disreputable characters with humorous and disgusting habits, and a ghost in need of assistance. This page-turning adventure will tickle readers' funny bones.—Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY
Following in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, Goldenrod Moram plans to meticulously map her hometown. In the woods near her home, she discovers a strange woman, a quest for an elusive blue rose, the ghost of Meriwether Lewis, and a band of hoodlums (mostly her classmates). Although the plot treads predictable paths, quirky characters keep the story lively and engaging.

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