The Ghost of Northumberland Strait


The last thing thirteen-year-old Charly Pederson expects to do is meet a ghost when she, her mother and sister Nikki move to P.E.I. to live with Grammie after her parents’ divorce. Charly knows something is up with that old, abandoned house on Northumberland Strait the day that four of them break in and snoop around. While the other kids are satisfied to stay out of the spooky house after that, Charly feels drawn back to the place and knows she has to return alone. She does return and is swept into a time-traveling adventure during which she makes the most unlikely friend – a woman who’s been dead since long before Charly was born.

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Read Chapter One.

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Here’s a book review by Carole Marion of the Calgary Public Library.

What Quill & Quire said about The Ghost of Northumberland Strait:

Charly is a fully realized 13-year-old, and Grammie is especially vividly drawn.  Katherine is also well realized, and the way she interacts with Charly…provides an unusual twist on ghost story conventions.  Many readers will love this poignant, hopeful novel.

Quill & Quire
A young Charly fan.

Brian Harvey
Brian Harvey

I used The Ghost of Northumberland Strait as a read-aloud at the beginning of the year.  I found several advantages to this book.  First, not only was it a local author, but a teacher in our own division!  This engaged my Grade 5 students right off the bat.  Also, being set in the Maritimes, it made for a wonderful cross-curricular reference for the Social Studies 5 program.  Using Lori’s book as an exemplar for trait-based writing helped my students make connections to their reading and writing.

My favorite aspects of the novel study materials were twofold.  First, they were based upon sound and current assessment for learning practices in our division.  Secondly, they took into account differentiation in the classroom by hitting both higher and lower level thinking.

The Ghost of Northumberland Strait will become my “go to” book for quite some time.

~ Brian Harvey, Grade 5 Teacher/ Curriculum Coach, Vermilion Elementary School, Alberta

Best for FB
Me at a book event.
Lobster Traps
Lobster traps on Prince Edward Island.
OLeary House PEI
This is the abandoned house on Prince Edward Island that my imagination turned into the O’Leary House.

Here is a kind note I received from a recent reader who discovered a copy of my book in her local library:

“Hello there. I just finished reading The Ghost of Northumberland Strait and loved it. My grandparents and then my parents owned a big old house in PEI but down at the east end not far from Basin Head and Red Point Beach. My Grandfather was a Baptist Minister who used to preach at the church at Kingsboro and South Lake and he and Grammie bought that big old house, and then years later my parents bought it from them and retired there.

We spent a lot of time there in the summer as kids growing up, and then when my parents retired there, I took my own girls there in the summer for a week. Even tho my parents sold the house and have both passed away, and somebody else owns it and is renovating it, we still consider it “OUR PEI HOUSE” and drive by it every time we’re in PEI to take pictures of the changes made to it. The new owner even let me into the house last summer to see all the changes!!

There are so many things in your book that was so much like our PEI house. First of all the “old-fashioned sofa, red, its fabric feels like velvet under my fingers”. There was one exactly like that there, and when my parents sold the house and moved into Souris, that couch went to my house here in northern Nova Scotia (we can see the Northumberland Strait off in the distance from just up the road) and then years later to my youngest daughter’s house. It saw many family members using it during the years in PEI and in our homes. So soft and comfortable!

Also the ‘old pump organ, smooth wood finish”… Grammie had a big pump organ there at the PEI house and that also ended up back at my place for many years. I eventually gave it to my cousin to keep it in the family. We used to play on it when we were there and my Grammie would play hymns on it when she was alive.

The high ceilings (the thickness of the plaster on the ceiling designs at the PEI house was amazing!), the glass door knob, tub with claw feet and sink on pedestal, the huge desk, the box for the wood beside the wood stove in the kitchen (during my childhood anyway), the blinds on the windows, the sun porch, old trunk at the foot of the bed, old photo albums with each picture’s 4 corners anchored onto the page with a black triangle, low dressing table with huge round mirror, tall bureau with 4 deep drawers…..wood paneling on bottom half and yellow and pink flowery wallpaper on top, doilies, …..ALL of these things were just like our PEI house and reminded me of Grammie and my parents and all the wonderful memories of being there, usually with lots of cousins also on vacation.

The ‘pad of coloured paper that Grammie keeps by the phone”, well, yes again, my Grandmother also had this pad of coloured paper by the phone there too – it was like small construction paper and we used it for phone messages and also to keep score when playing cards. The empty peanut butter jar (Grammie saves everything) – again just like my Grammie.

Even going down to the beach on PEI and the running along the sandbar and the seagulls and the waves… was just like being there all over again.

I loved this story, and I’m 64 years old. I decided to read all my ‘children’s books’ and this was the first one on my list. It was originally from the Scotsburn Elementary School’s library and they had donated it to the community library which is where I picked it up from.

Thank you for such a great story (loved the end where all the pieces came together) and for reminding me of wonderful memories in Prince Edward Island with my grandparents and my own parents and family members.”

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