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Golden & Grey: An Unremarkable Boy and a Rather Remarkable Ghost    by Louise Arnold order for
Golden & Grey
by Louise Arnold
Order:  USA  Can
Margaret K. McElderry, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Louise Arnold tells us that 'The ghost world sits right on top of the real world, like butter sits on toast.' She's written a magical story, Golden & Grey, about a lonely human boy and the underachieving ghost who becomes his friend.

Grey Author sits on a park bench in the pouring rain watching the world go by, just as he has been doing for endless years. As a ghost, Author is a failure, never having found his true calling. He has tried being a Banshee, a Poltergeist, a Sadness Summoner and a Screamer (to name just a few ghostly occupations), but nothing quite fits. 'Life isn't fair,' he sighs. At that same moment, eleven-year-old Tom Golden hides in his room counting the days until the weekend when he'll have two days free from the bullying he has come to expect at his new school. Bruised and in pain, he mutters, 'Life isn't fair.' When Grey Author hears his own identical thought spoken in misery by Tom, he feels such a bond that he rushes to his side. At long last he's found his calling. Tom needs a friend. Since Author is a ghost, he decides to be an invisible friend to the lonely misfit.

Humans are unaware of ghosts and pretend they don't exist, but a ghost can see both worlds - which is why, in the beginning, Author is as invisible to Tom as he is to all other humans. An accident allows Tom to become aware of the ghostly world surrounding his own. Add a fake psychiatrist and a kidnapping to the plot and Tom and Grey Arnold rush headlong into a comical, suspense-filled thriller. Tom's parents are a bit clueless and Tom himself is weak and under-developed, but Grey Author isn't so colorless after all. He saves the book just as he saves Tom.

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