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The Ghost of Lizard Light: 06/15/08
As I mentioned in my review of The Magnificent Mummy Maker, Elvira Woodruff is good at getting into the heads of both her child an adult characters. In The Ghost of Lizard Light she takes the typical plot of a child trying to prove himself in the eyes of his overly strict parent and turns it into a chilling look at how a parent's good intentions can go wrong.
The story covers two generations of fathers and sons: the modern day Jack Carlton and his father and Nathaniel Witherspoon and his father from 150 years ago. Nathaniel is also the book's supernatural element and he takes a more active roles than the mummy's ka does in The Magnificent Mummy Maker. Nathaniel is seeking proof that his father died a brave man.
While Jack is trying to help Nathaniel he must contend with his father's strict rules while his kid sister gets away with all sorts of things. Jack spends much of the early part of the book angry at his parents (and father especially) but through Nathaniel's help and some studying on his own, he comes to understand the reasons behind his father and gain the self confidence needed to help his father see when he might be wrong.
As this is also a ghost story, there are some wonderfully eerie scenes and some sad ones too. At the end of the book when we learn how Nathaniel died, he is such an important part of the story that his death is a poignant break in Jack's adventures.