Your Rating and Overall Opinion (Spoilers)

Discuss the October 2013 book of the month "The Boy who Lived with Ghosts" by John Mitchell.

How do you rate The Boy Who Lived with Ghosts?

1 star - poor, recommend against reading it
0
No votes
2 stars - fair, okay
4
19%
3 stars - good, recommend it
11
52%
4 stars - excellent, amazing
6
29%
 
Total votes: 21

Amheiser
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Re: Your Rating and Overall Opinion (Spoilers)

Post by Amheiser » 21 Jan 2015, 00:12

Touching, amusing, and shocking someone used to describe this book, and I agree. It was touching because of the way the author started out using the language of the child telling his perceptions of what he saw and heard. It was amusing because of how literally the child interpreted things, and how even though his life was a very hard one, he still managed to keep his sense of humor which probably helped him cope. It was shocking to read about what this child had to deal with. There was so much going on in his life with his mentally ill sister and his grandfather coping with old age and his father leaving and their poverty.

It took me a little while to get into the story but it was very easy to read so it wasn't too long before I was hooked. I was amazed at how the author was able to show the growth of the child through just the language of the boy. I was also impressed with how the mother was portrayed and how she managed to cope with being a single parent, and how she tried to keep life as normal as possible for herself and her children when their lives weren't normal at all. I think the mother was the reason that the boy grew up to be as normal as he did. She seemed to be a steady, constant force in his life even though she didn't totally understand some of the things he was going through.

I rated the book 4 out of 4 stars because towards the end I couldn't put the book down. I was impressed at how well it was written showing the boy grow up through the progression of his language. I think the characters were well-developed and very easy to imagine. I also liked how humor was used to lighten the intensity of the story and I liked that the story ended with hope.

I'm not sure who I would recommend this book to. It was too sad and intense and sometimes reminded me of Grapes of Wrath which was way to sad for me to even finish, but some people might like this book because it showed that there can be hope for a better life.
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aaa123
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Post by aaa123 » 24 Jan 2015, 14:04

A mind blowing book.

jcheiser
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Post by jcheiser » 07 Feb 2015, 12:37

I really enjoyed this book. The best part, in my opinion, was the way it was written from a child's perspective, and the way the writing "grew up" along with the child. The changes were subtle but they were there and they were important. I also really like that even though the story was being told through a child's perspective, it was not written in overly simple language or with an overly simplified structure. I think the author found an excellent blend between target reading level and staying within the realm of the voice of the narrator. I have recommended this book and I will continue to do so.
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scquarantillo
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Post by scquarantillo » 12 Feb 2015, 22:51

This book was not for me. I gave it the old college try but I just couldn't get past the slow beginning. As it went on I just lost interest. However, I do think it was creative and I rated it 2 stars out of 4

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Post by debo9967 » 16 Feb 2015, 00:20

The book was quite enjoyable. There were some parts which seemed quite slow, but the rest was very well written. I really liked the character's POV and the description of the world through the protagonist's eyes in the book.
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Amheiser
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Post by Amheiser » 23 Feb 2015, 16:30

I'm just trying to catch up on my book of the month readings and I finished this book a short while ago. It was book of the month a few months ago so I don't if anybody is still out there to discuss this book but I was just wondering what other people thought of the mother in this book. At one point the poor sister was trying to say how the mother was manipulative and only thinking of herself. I know the sister had problems but I wondered if anyone else thought the mother was manipulative. She took classes in the evenings and was gone a lot and didn't seem to realize the boy was getting locked in the basement by his sister. Do you think she put aside the sister's problems or downplayed them to help her cope with everything that was going on? Do you think she should have stayed home more in the evenings to keep the sister from doing bad things to the boy or do you think she needed that time away for herself so she could cope with everything?
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Stevefromtheblock
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Post by Stevefromtheblock » 28 Feb 2015, 16:50

This sounds like it's right up my alley!
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Post by gatorgirl_823 » 02 Apr 2015, 09:56

Very creepy that's for sure. I purposefully don't read this type of book for my bedtime reading. I was recently reading an indie author's book - "Darkly Wood" by Max Power and about half-way through, it was a daytime reading only book, haha!
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Misaela
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Post by Misaela » 01 Jun 2015, 10:01

Amheiser wrote:I'm just trying to catch up on my book of the month readings and I finished this book a short while ago. It was book of the month a few months ago so I don't if anybody is still out there to discuss this book but I was just wondering what other people thought of the mother in this book. At one point the poor sister was trying to say how the mother was manipulative and only thinking of herself. I know the sister had problems but I wondered if anyone else thought the mother was manipulative. She took classes in the evenings and was gone a lot and didn't seem to realize the boy was getting locked in the basement by his sister. Do you think she put aside the sister's problems or downplayed them to help her cope with everything that was going on? Do you think she should have stayed home more in the evenings to keep the sister from doing bad things to the boy or do you think she needed that time away for herself so she could cope with everything?
My opinion is that the mother was very sick, in a different way from her daughter. She was not mentally equipped to deal with children on her own, and tried to escape the responsibility by manipulating the family members.

Her illness aside, she very much should have sought professional help and tried to stay in the house not often. When you become a parent, your needs always come second to the well-being of your little ones.
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Amheiser
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Post by Amheiser » 03 Jun 2015, 23:45

I was very pleased that you took the time to reply to my post about The Boy Who Lived With Ghosts, Misaela. I agree that the mother needed help. She was under a lot of stress being a single parent, and I was very surprised when she took on the responsibility for other children when she was having problems with her own children.

I agree that a parents' needs come second to that of their children, but on the other hand, parents who don't take care of themselves, as well as their children, sometimes aren't able to provide the care that their children require of them. In that circumstance, another adult to consult with and/or give some of their time to help a parent in need, so they can refresh themselves and thus handle things better, would be a good thing.
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Misaela
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Post by Misaela » 11 Jun 2015, 01:46

Amheiser wrote:I was very pleased that you took the time to reply to my post about The Boy Who Lived With Ghosts, Misaela. I agree that the mother needed help. She was under a lot of stress being a single parent, and I was very surprised when she took on the responsibility for other children when she was having problems with her own children.

I agree that a parents' needs come second to that of their children, but on the other hand, parents who don't take care of themselves, as well as their children, sometimes aren't able to provide the care that their children require of them. In that circumstance, another adult to consult with and/or give some of their time to help a parent in need, so they can refresh themselves and thus handle things better, would be a good thing.
That would have definitely been ideal, Amheiser. I imagine though, that all the hardship she was in before being forced to be a single mother hardened her, or at least made her wary of other people's trust. It's possible that the mother wasn't able to have a trustworthy relationship with another adult; at least not enough for that person to be of any help to the kids.
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Taylor Razzani
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Post by Taylor Razzani » 25 Jun 2016, 10:24

I had never heard of this book until this website, but I'm glad I did! At times I had trouble getting into the story because of the little boy narrative, and when he got older and his hormones started kicking in. But I did love the progression of the characters and it was almost unbelievable to see what his childhood was like. It was very sad to see Marguretta's life...it must have been terrifying to grow up like that and have no one to turn to. Their mom really bugged me. I'm not saying she shouldn't have been able to have time to herself, she definitely should have being a single mom. But a lot of the time it didn't seem like she was concerned about her kids at all, especially Marguretta. Her daughter's revelation about her near the end kind of made sense, even if she was being paranoid.
Overall I really enjoyed this book! So much drama and the creepy parts were just the right amount to unnerve you without being overly horrifying.
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Naval Aulakh
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Post by Naval Aulakh » 09 Jul 2017, 08:37

I altogether delighted in the book. I truly delighted in how the character's voice matured with him all through the book. I rate it 4 out of 4 stars.
Live Life to the Fullest and Enjoy Reading!!
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