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"Gradually, a faint brightness appeared in the east, and the air, which had been very warm through the night, felt cool and chilly. Though there was no daylight yet, the darkness was diminished, and the stars looked pale. The prison, which had been a mere black mass with little shape or form, put on its usual aspect; and ever and anon a solitary watchman could be seen upon its roof, stopping to look down upon the preparations in the street . . . By and by the feeble light grew stronger, and the houses with their sign-boards and inscriptions stood plainly out, in the dull grey morning . . . And now, the sun's first beams came glancing into the street; and the night's work, which, in its various stages and in the varied fancies of the lookers-on had taken a hundred shapes, wore its own proper form - a scaffold and a gibbet . . . " (The Complete Works of Charles Dickens, Harper & Brothers, New York and London, Barnaby Rudge, Vol. II, Chapter XIX, page 164. ) Dickens describes an activity which takes place in the early morning hours, just before sunrise. As the day begins and people start to go about their business and get ready to watch the hanging, the hangman is ready with the gallows.
Twelve-year-old Dahlia has always lived at Silverton Manor-having spent fifty years as its resident ghost. When Oliver Day and his family show up as house-sitters the day Mrs. Tibbs, a Liberator sent by the Spectral Investigative Council, arrives to teach Dahlia the proper rules for ghosting, Dahlia can't wait to make new friends. But the unscrupulous ghost hunter, Rank Wiley, and the crooked town councilman, Jock Rutabartle, plan to rid Silverton Manor of its ghosts and sell it to the highest bidder. With her home and friendships at stake Dahlia may have to break the rules of ghosting as quickly as she learns them to solve the mystery of her death and save the manor. Equal parts charming and eerie, this ghostly caper hits all the right notes for the middle-grade audience.
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