Ghost Girl

A Blue Ridge Mountain Story

Now Available in Paperback!

“This excellent portrayal of four important years in a girl’s life rises to the top….seamlessly incorporates historical facts into the narrative…. A first-rate purchase for all libraries.”

–School Library Journal (Starred Review)

Eleven-year-old April Sloane has never gone to school. She’s also never seen a woman as smart and sophisticated as Miss Vest, the new teacher at the one-room schoolhouse that President Herbert Hoover and his wife have built in the remote Blue Ridge Mountains. But with Daddy rarely home and Mama still grieving over the accidental death of their only son, April begins to give up hope that she’ll ever attend school and escape her lonely life in the hollow. Thankfully, her beloved grandmother Aunt Birdy is there to intervene on her behalf.

Yet just when April thinks she might finally be on the verge of leaving her haunted past behind, a dark secret—and frightening changes on the mountain—threaten to bring April’s fragile new world tumbling down. Based on the extensive collection of letters exchanged between the real-life Miss Vest and the White House, this unique coming-of-age novel set during the Depression dramatically depicts how a determined girl, living in rural Virginia, grows in mind and spirit.


2015 All-Community Summer Reads Selection, Madison County, Virginia

2004 Society of School Librarians International (SSLI) Book Award

Nominated to the final master lists for the children’s choice awards in seven states: Oklahoma, Kansas, South Carolina, Missouri, Indiana, New Hampshire and Virginia.

“Ray’s loving attention to setting, character, and detail makes this debut special, a quiet and subtle evocation of a time and place based on real events and a real teacher.”
— Kirkus Reviews
 (Starred Review)

“Nothing is…predictable…. April’s coming-of-age…is poignant, realistic, and somber, and reflective of the strength April has found within.”
—The Horn Book
(Starred Review)