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The Ghost of Lost Island
Holiday House
ISBN 0-8234-0874-4
jacket art
Trina Schart Hyman
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Ghost of Lost Island


About the Book

“Beware the dairymaid,” Gabriel’s uncle warns, as Gabe and his bossy older sister, Ginny, set off for their grandfather’s island in Maine. Then Gabe encounters a mysterious older woman who may be the island’s famous ghost—or is she? Gabe must overcome his fear and forge a bond with his prickly sister in order to learn the truth.

Awards and Distinctions

Colorado State Book Award list, 1995
Missouri Mark Twain Award master list
Oklahoma Sequoyah Award master list, 1993


“The children’s exploits in the boat provide plenty of excitement, as do their explorations of the island…mystery fans should find this story entertaining.” (School Library Journal)

Behind the Book

FAQ: What inspired you to write this story?

Many years ago, I visited an island off the Maine coast, where my friends Pete and Marty kept a flock of sheep. We stayed in a tiny cabin just like the one in the story, with no running water or electricity. At night, while a spooky foghorn hooted offshore and the kerosene lamp cast flickering shadows on the wall, Pete told a story about the ghost who haunted the island. The next day, my son Ethan and I found a grapevine house like the one in the story. “This would make a spooky setting for a mystery story,” Ethan said. I agreed, and wrote a novel set on the island a few years later.

FAQ: Did you ever have a border collie like MacDuff?

No, but my friend Pete did. His dog, Rudder, could make the sheep go wherever Pete wanted to send them. I did keep a small flock of sheep in Vermont for a while, and often wished I had a border collie, because sheep spook so easily that it’s hard to catch them!

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