A popular belief among paranormal researchers is that spirits will often haunt the place where they met an untimely and/or a violent death. Many will supposedly hang around in an attempt to tend to unfinished business. Author Lance Lee Noel utilizes this in "The Ghosts of Lone Jack."
While spending the summer at his grandfather's farm, young Jared Millhouse and his friends find themselves face to face with ghosts from one of the bloodiest battles in American Civil War history in Noel's book. When Jared first encounters the ghosts, he is frightened by a woman behind the outfield of a ballpark. She demands a key from Jared. As the story continues, the ghosts begin to show themselves more often. In some instances, they play out their part in the Battle of Lone Jack, facing off against each other in an eternal struggle for the James Guns. Osage Indians and slaves also haunt the area, striking fear into Jared and his friends.
While most members of the community don't believe the children, a local cemetery worker named Sirus does. He agrees to help the kids, collectively known as the Crossroads Gang, find out exactly what is going on with all of the ghosts and why they are looking for a "key." They enlist the help of "Yankee" ghost hunters and a few other people as well. To top it all off, murderous convicts have escaped from a nearby prison and are hiding out in the countryside of Lone Jack.
Can the Crossroads Gang find the "key" to the ghostly activity in Lone Jack? You'll have to read the book in order to find out.
Personally, I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I really enjoy history, and author Noel litters this book with plenty of factual information as it is related to the Battle of Lone Jack. All of the ghosts mentioned by name in the book actually existed and played a part in the battle.
The kids in the book are fun to read about as well. They deal with bullies, blown catches in baseball games, love, and elder members of the community in typical tweener fashion. Characters such as Sirus and Ned add plenty of humor to the story also.
Particularly interesting was Noel's description of the Osage Indian ghosts. They are very unique and I won't spoil them for anyone reading this review by revealing their unique qualities.
I believe that most kids (particularly young boys) over the age of eleven will really enjoy this book. There's a little bit of violence and a couple of violent deaths, but overall this book is a safe choice for parents to let their children read. I highly recommend it.
It is quite pleasing to read a book aimed at youth readership which has a bit of everything in it and is able to hook the reader on the first page. This remarkable story opens as Jared Millhouse, a young lad who spends the summers with his widowed father and grandfather on the family farm in Lone Jack, Missouri, is playing in a very important baseball game. Unfortunately Jared is by far the worse player on the team and as he misses a game winning fly ball hit to his right field position, he encounters … more
Noel, Lance Lee. "The Ghosts of Lone Jack", Spinning Moon Press, 2009. Feeling the Pain Amos Lassen The American Civil War was one of the most painful periods in American history. In this educational and entertaining book we get a sense of what the men who fought felt and we also get a peek at our heritage and a need to keep the past fulfilled. Jared Millhouse and his dad went to spend the summer … more
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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This very well written story gives young readers a sense of the anguish that the men who fought at Lone Jack, and so many other battles across the country, felt during this very dark period in our nation's history. But more importantly, it gives young readers a glimpse into their heritage and will hopefully instill in them the need to preserve our past. -- --Alinda M. Miller, President, Lone Jack Historical Society; Site Administrator, Lone Jack Civil War Battlefield, Soldier s Cemetery and Museum