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Out of the Wild Night by Blue Balliett

Ghosts are alive on the island of Nantucket.

You can hear them in the wind and in the creaks of old homes. They want to be remembered. And, even more, they want to protect what was once theirs.

A group of local kids set out to help the ghosts in a time of danger, but things often go wrong when spirits are around. The living can get in trouble.

Will anyone hear these kids in time?

Will you?

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EXCERPT: Chapter One

My story begins at dusk, on the edges, by the shore and around the graveyards. Let me tell you, this is a Nantucket November like no other.

On the good side of being in my current state is that time works like the pages of a book made from fog or snow  You can flip this way or that and things are always changing order. Flowing.  Regrouping around the motion of your hand.

On the bad side?

Being dead.

But wait, that may not be all bad. Being dead has its advantages, especially around here.

My name is Mary.  Mary W. Chase. Chase as in Run, I might be behind you!

I died one hundred years ago, plus a few days.

Behind the Scenes:
I first came to Nantucket as a summer worker at age 18, and fell under the spell of this magical island. I married my husband Bill on Nantucket a few years later, and we’ve lived and worked here, off and on, for many decades. Two of our three kids were born here. I’ve heard many, many ‘real’ ghost stories… and finally, after writing six mysteries set in the Chicago area and published by Scholastic Press, got brave and wild enough to write Out of the Wild Night… It’s my love poem to this extraordinary, unique island and its year-round community, its oldest houses, and their ghosts.

Nantucket has always boasted wonderful doughnuts. I wondered why. Research revealed that for centuries here they were referred to as ‘Wonders’, which is what they were called by the earliest European settlers who came from England over 300 years ago. Wonders! What a great name.

Here is an undated recipe for Wonders that I found in the Nantucket Historical Association library. And here I am one morning after a swim, with a plate of six from the Downy Flake Restaurant, which is famous for their doughnuts. They’ve been making them for 88 years.