Here's a story in the best American folk tradition. It combines a ghost, a hidden treasure, and an appealing young character who sets out to make his fortune, and does so by courage, kindness and the sort of innocence that invariably succeeds in folk literature. Thomas is the youngest of seven children. His parents work from sunup to sundown on their little back-country farm, but earn barely enough to keep food on the table. Thomas goes out into the world to help remedy the situation and, along the way, shows kindness to a stranger. The stranger rewards him by leading him to a house in which a treasure is hidden, but guarded by a fearsome ghost. Through San Souci's gently scary words and Pinkney's wonderfully atmospheric illustrations, Thomas outwits the ghost and wins the day -- and the treasure.
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