by Richard W. Jennings
Spencer Adams Honesty may be the last best hope for Paisley, Kansas-and for lonely kids everywhere.
Spencer Honesty (if he had any friends left, they’d call him Spence) and his mom are the last people left in Paisley, Kansas. Well, except for his imaginary friend, an Indian named Chief Leopard Frog. Chief Leopard Frog is good at a few things: carving rabbit-shaped talismans and writing poetry, for example.
One day, after many sad days of missing Maureen Balderson, the neighbor girl who kissed Spence before she too moved away, a rabbit talisman tells Spence to take its photo. And so Spence digs up his late father’s camera and starts shooting photographs all around his ghost town-businesses and homes that have been boarded up and abandoned due to all of the factories closing and work impossible to find. Spence loves the mysteries he can see in the world around him with his camera.
But he does not expect to see Maureen Balderson in a photo of her bedroom. Or Ma Puttering clearing weeds in her yard. They aren’t there, in Paisley, anymore. But there they are, in Spence’s photos.
What happens next is, naturally, unexpected . . .
At turns thrilling and hilarious, Richard Jennings once again brings unusual characters and situations to life with his irreverent wit. Sure to be enjoyed on many levels by kids (and adults who still want to be kids), Ghost Town is Jennings at his finest.
Richard W. Jennings has published more than fifty essays, articles, and short stories, including The Tragic Tale of the Dog Who Killed Himself, published by Bantam Books in 1980 to widespread critical acclaim, as well as his recent titles published with Houghton Mifflin-Orwell’s Luck, The Great Whale of Kansas, My Life of Crime, and Scribble. He is cofounder of a popular Kansas City-area bookstore and former editor of Kansas City Magazine. He has five children, four grandchildren, a dog, a cat, and a parrot. He lives in Kansas. See more at www.richardwjennings.com.
June 2009 · Ages 12 and up · 176 pages · $16.00 · Fiction