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The Stage is SetFor a Ghostly SceneFor sixth grader Nina Tanleven trying out for a part in a play is pretty scary But nothing can compare to seeing a ghost a woman in white sitting in the audience Nina senses that she has nothing to fear from this apparition but she is intrigued Nina learns that fifty years ago a beautiful actress was murdered on this very stage According to legend she has haunted the theater ever sinceStrange things begin to happen scripts are ripped up sets are knocked down a costume is torn to pieces and everyone thinks that the ghost wants to stop the show from going on Everyone that is except for Nina and her best friend Chris who decide to do some ghost hunting of their own But only the Woman in White can lead them to the answer

10 thoughts on “The Ghost in the Third Row

  1. says:

    Nina wasn't likable at all and she ruined it for me The minute she met Chris at the audition they tore apart the other kids who were trying out She got up there to sing the same song almost all the other girls had And I was good I can't stand people who are conceited about their abilities Then she wanted to kill the beautiful girl named Heidi because she was sitting too close to the cute manager Edgar She said Yuck what an awful name about Alan Bland the scriptwriter Melissa said Nina was singing flat because she was only 11 and Nina wanted to send her a mental blast to fry her brains out Whoa that's severe Nina wanted the ceiling to fall in on Melissa She wanted to crawl under a rock and die She wanted to die of embarrassment Everything was soo dramatic and I was insulted the entire time that he thinks this is how girls think and act dramatic catty and vindictive And he has children behaving like this suashed looking file cabinets Not suashed as if they had been sat on by an elephant just suashed as in being about twice as wide and half as tall as the ones I was used to You see people shaped like that sometimes too It's always a real shock How can you say that?During her audition Nina had spotted a see through woman sitting beside her dad that caused her to mess up while singing This play is called The Woman in White based on a tragedy that occurred in the theater Two men in a troupe had fallen in love with an actress named Lily and courted her She had fallen in love with Edward and Andrew couldn't accept it and decided no one could have her if he couldn't He sent a chandelier falling onto her during a performance and she died The leading lady fainted in the theater after she spotted the ghost Nina's curiosity got the better of her and she snuck up into the off limits balcony and got a view of the lady dancing across the stage Nina had trouble with one note in a song and Melissa was nice enough to tell her to take a breath beforehand because that would helpIt was such an eye roll moment when Nina told Chris she had seen the ghost and Chris shared that she had seen her too Neither wanted anyone to think they were crazy so they didn't mention it Of course Chris spilled the beans to Nina's dad that they'd seen the ghost and Nina thought of a way to kill Chris without getting caught So violentI was beyond irritated when they went to the library to research the murder to determine the ghost's demeanor and motive and Nina fell head over kills for the young librarian She called him the Hunk interjected that they were there to look at his eyes and dubbed him BBEG Blond Blue Eyed and Gorgeous I refused to call her Nine the nickname she went by because her name is Nina Tanleven so Nine makes her sound like her full name goes Nine Ten Eleven Not cool or good What person wants to be called by a number? Her dad revealed that according to legend the woman in white only reveals herself to those who truly love the theater So Lydia surprisingly had seen her and Chris and Nina but not Melissa of course They had a meeting about the ghost once Lydia's dress turned up torn Marilyn said Lydia had said the ghost didn't want them to do the play and Melissa told the girls that Marilyn was just saying that because she'd get Lydia's role Nina was like Leave it to Melissa to think something like that And she didn't like thinking of people that way Why because you just like killing them?? You're constantly thinking of killing others and having violent things happen to them and you're condemning Melissa for making a valid point?It irritated me how any time Melissa said anything Nina would get all up in arms about it like Melissa was completely rotten and Nina was a saint who never had a bad thought about anybody At the same meeting Gwendolyn gave a long speech about how the theater was haunted by memory and emotion and performances and Melissa commented on what a performance it was meaning it was fake Nina wondered what was wrong with that Was it wrong for Gwendolyn to use her skills to persuade us? She's lying to you and you ask if it's wrong? She's so stupidMelissa noticed they were looking at something in the theater and deduced that it was the ghost and she announced it in front of everyone Gwendolyn was mad at them but they revealed that the ghost shows herself to young women who love the theater and the harsh and angry Gwendolyn had seen her when she was young Of courseI knew as soon as or shortly after Pop came into the story that he was one of the men involved with the actress I didn't know which one but I was strongly leaning towards the bad one because that would be why the ghost was coming back to make her murderer pay So it was no surprise at all that when they went in Pop's office she saw the missing newspaper article saying that Andrew was accused in the murder He warned them away from saying anythingHis take on ghosts wasn't realistic Every time they saw the ghost one of them wound spot her first and then there would be time for them to nudge the other and get her to look Lily would put her finger to her lips to get them to be uiet about her presence At one point she beckoned the girls to follow her and Nina wondered how she was moving so she got right down on the floor in the middle of it all and tilted her head to see her feet Indeed Lily's feet were moving as if she was really walkingI don't believe that a ghost couldwould move freely like that and make gestures and move their feet and be present long enough for someone to follow them through a theater and see their feet moving No I just don't believe any of itThe girls followed Lily to Pop's office where they perused the whole album which turned out to be about the theater and not specifically Lily It raised uestions for them but the author kept us out of the loop as he didn't share one thing they had read or their suspicions They heard footsteps and hid downstairs in a room that was getting smaller the ceiling appearing to cave in But Lily appeared riding the elevator platform and got them to get on and ride up to the stage through a trap doorThat's when Gwendolyn appeared demanding to know who was trying to sabotage the play She had found all the play's papers burning in her trashcan in her locked office No one came forward but she produced matches from a nearby restaurant that made Nina figure the identify of the saboteur out Naturally we were not in on the discovery Stupidly Nina went up into the balcony with all her evidence thereby making her easy prey for the bad guy Surprisingly Lydia showed up demanding to know how she'd figured it out She had seen Lydia at that restaurant She knew the ghost wouldn't rip a dress up and she remembered Lydia had gone into Gwendolyn's office so she had access to the key But the biggest thing was that Lydia Crane was similar to Andrew Heron because crane is another name for heronyeah like a kid would figure that out Get real Lydia tried to push her over the edge and Pop showed up She was crazy and accused him of killing Lily and framing her dad for the murder She fought him and lost her balance and he went to help her and they both fell over the edge But Lydia survived and he died Thanks for killing a good charactergood move It was a nice moment at the end when Lily was dancing sadly on the stage to that song but then the music became happy and a young Edward joined her and they danced together But Nina saw it alone and Chris wasn't even there She should have been included in that moment because she was such a big part of them getting anywhere in the mystery Without her Nina wouldn't have done much I found this to be on the dark side especially for a kid’s novel All of the things he had Nina think and say were not okay I didn’t like the writing style either All of the foreshadowing was so irritating Nina was constantly dropping bombs on how things turned out to be a fatal mistake a bad decision etc The play aspect was a fail They somehow produced a play with a couple of singing lessons and one scene acted out By the end I couldn't even remember what her part was We didn’t even get to experience the play because it was brushed over This is yet another example to me to read a book in a series first without going ahead and adding the rest before trying one out I'm regretting that I hit to read on the others I don't think I will be a fan of this author based on the writing style and the choices made Also the whole theater ghost has been done before so it was nothing new

  2. says:

    This was super fun I'd never read it as a kid but it felt surprisingly fresh even now I think it would still have appeal for middle grade mystery readers once they get past the microfilmhttpwwwfrowlorgworstbestsellers

  3. says:

    Didn't really enjoy this book I guess it's about okay

  4. says:

    Childhood favorite via 1988 I'm glad I saved my copy because it isn't even available any My boys have really started liking mystery ghost stories This is a nice one that is not too scary but keeps them guessing My youngest was very happy with the ending because Even though it was sad it was happy

  5. says:

    I remember seeing this book and this series in the bookstore when I was reading all of Bruce Coville's other books as a kid I never picked them up for some reason Maybe because they were about ghosts instead of aliens or magic I think my young self would have liked them My adult self sure enjoyed the uick read and I'm looking forward to the other two books in the series

  6. says:

    this is a brill book you read it a and find out

  7. says:

    So I admit it I'm reading a bunch of children's books to make up the last few books of my reading challenge this year I actually do want to read them but maybe I wouldn't read them all at once However my comparison of several translations of The Analects took much longer than intended Anyway the book at hand I actually read The Ghost in the Third Row many years ago I have no idea when but it was sometime in the 90s Maybe this is where my fascination with ghosts and mysteries began But actually I think that may have been innate I did not remember the story very well but it has stuck in my mind for all these many years and also was the first Bruce Coville book I ever read The story itself is a pretty decent kid solving ghost mystery but also rather predictable But then again I'm years passed the target audience now It's also possible that I remembered it than I thought I did which is what made it so predictable Also I liked some of the characters a lot I thought the cool single dad was especially likable Anyway four stars seem fair three for the book one for the nostalgia

  8. says:

    This was the book that started my love of reading in second grade I loved the main character Nina Tanleven a curious girl with a great voice It had everything mystery suspense friendship hated rivals and a beautiful backstory involving the old theater where they were performingThank you Bruce Coville for writing this remarkable story and opening my love of reading

  9. says:

    I did not think I was going to like this book alot I picked it up for 25 cents at a thrift store I couldn't put it down Amazing story and plot adorable characters and had an amazing ending I cannot wait to finish the other two in the series

  10. says:

    How exciting to read a book that takes place in Syracuse though