Form and Content

(Survey of Young Adult Fiction)

The Ghost Belonged to Me is a first-person narrative relating the supernatural experiences of a young boy, Alexander Armsworth, and his quest to allow a sad ghost finally to lie with the rest of her family’s remains. The novel consists of twenty-two chapters that present an engaging story of life in a small town.

Alexander is initially informed of the ghost’s existence by his would-be girlfriend, Blossom Culp; her mother sees a halo of pink light around the Armsworth’s barn and tells her daughter that it signified the death of a young girl. Although tempted not to believe this incredible story, Alexander is persuaded to enter the loft where, instead of a ghostly girl, he finds Trixie, a half-drowned puppy with an injured leg. He provides it with food, water, and a place to sleep, and he plans to adopt it. The physical presence of the puppy at first seems to discredit Blossom’s story, but when Alexander later is unable to find Trixie anywhere, he accepts Blossom’s words as the truth. He soon discovers that Trixie is the spectral companion of the ghost of Inez Dumaine, a young woman who died in a steamboat accident and was laid to rest underneath a hitching post next to the Armsworth house.

As if dealing with ghosts were not enough, Alexander’s older sister, Lucille, is in the process of “coming out” into society as a debutante and is hoping to snare Tom Hackett, the scion of a wealthy pharmaceuticals magnate, for a husband. She and her mother organize a coming out party that they hope will announce their rising status in the community. This plan creates no...

(The entire section is 655 words.)