Incredible thrift store find… “An American Ghost” by Chester Aaron.
If you every watched those ABC Weekend Specials you probably saw “American Ghost” about 50 times.
It was notable for several things:
1) No ghost in it.
2) A kid is trapped in a house, which is floating down a flooded river.
3) A mountain lion is in the house, too!
Hmmm, wonder if that inspired “Life of Pi?”
Despite the lack of a ghost in the TV version, I recognized the title instantly and gladly paid $1 for the book.
Now, you’d expect to open the book and find out that the TV show had totally exaggerated the story.
The house really IS floating down a river!
“The house shook, like a dog throwing off water; it tilted and rotatedto the left and rotated back to the right. A tall grove of poplars drifted by…”
And there really IS a mountain lion in it! Actually, make that a lioness … with cubs!
It’s been a long time, but I could swear the main character in the TV version was a girl, but it’s a boy in the book.
And, if I haven’t made my point yet, another thing they have in common: no ghost!
(A forward explains that some people used to call mountain lions “American ghosts.” As in: “Look out for that lunging American Ghost” or “An American Ghost is trying to eat Jack Bauer’s daughter!”)
Filed under: kidlit