The Ghost Belonged to Me

by Richard Peck
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What is the rising action in The Ghost Belonged to Me?  

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In a novel, the rising action describes a connected, escalating series of events that leads to the climax of the story. In Richard Peck's The Ghost Belonged To Me, the rising action begins when protagonist Alexander learns from his crush, Blossom, that there is a ghost of a deceased young girl named Inez in his barn. Although initially dubious, Alexander believes her once he encounters the ghost's dog Trixie in the barn.

The plot thickens as Alexander confides in his great-uncle Miles about the ghost. Not only does Miles believe him, but he hatches a plan to return Inez's bones to her hometown of New Orleans so that her ghost can rest in peace. They dig up her bones and bring them on a train to New Orleans, and Blossom sneaks on to the train to join them.

The conflict of the story builds as a dastardly reporter named Mortimer Brulatour tries to steal Inez's remains on the train. Blossom is able to outwit the reporter, and the three arrive safely in New Orleans. They take the remains to Miles's female friend, and the climax of the story follows from there.

The rising action begins with the discovery of the ghost in the barn and brings the reader all the way to Alexander's arrival in New Orleans with the bones.

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